LEAD plugs losses in FY23 as revenue grows 2X to Rs 273 Cr


Edtech unicorn LEAD has achieved a two-fold growth in revenue while simultaneously reducing expenses by over 14% in the fiscal year ending March 2023. To put this into perspective, LEAD had a similar growth trajectory in the previous fiscal year but losses had soared three-fold.

LEAD’s operating income in FY23 jumped to Rs 273.2 crore as compared to Rs 132.37 crore in FY22, according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies.


Sale of products such as books, teaching aids and devices accounted for 74.6% of the total operating income. This income rose 82.5% to Rs 203.73 crore in FY23 from Rs 111.63 crore in FY22.

LEAD’s bouquet of services also includes platform solutions, which saw a 3.3x growth to Rs 69.47 crore in FY23 from Rs 20.74 crore in FY22. Besides this, the edtech firm also earned Rs 22.32 crore from the interest and gains in financial assets, taking the overall revenue to Rs 295.5 crore in FY23.

Founded in 2012, LEAD provides integrated curriculum and technology solutions to private schools with books, workbooks, smart classes, teacher training, manuals, ERPs, and teaching aids.

During the last quarter of FY23, LEAD acquired Pearson India Education Services (K-12 business). The company had not officially disclosed the size of the deal. As per TheKredible, LEAD paid Rs 15.5 crore to acquire the distressed business.


The cost-cutting initiatives, as mentioned above, also reflected in its expenses on employee benefit costs. While this accounted for over 46% of the total expenses, it rose a mere 11.3% to Rs 285.44 in FY23 from Rs 256.5 crore in FY22. This expense also includes employee share based payment of Rs 3.17 crore. It may be recalled the company had let go of 80–90 employees in August last year.

LEAD also cut costs on legal and promotional expenses, which dwindled by around 46% and 68%, respectively, to Rs 26.26 crore and Rs 24.52 crore during FY23. Spending on purchases of goods (after adjustment of changes in inventories), however, jumped 2.3X to Rs 146.77 crore during the last fiscal year from Rs 63.68 crore in FY22.

The company also booked an impairment loss on assets of Rs 34.4 crore during the last fiscal year.

At the end, LEAD’s total expenditure marginally increased by 14.7% to Rs 617.46 crore in FY23 as compared to Rs 538.2 crore in FY22.

Naturally, the cost-cutting efforts helped the company control losses, which declined 18.5% to Rs 322 crore in FY23 against Rs 395 crore in FY22. Furthermore, it also managed to stabilize its operating cash outflows by 5.5% to Rs 363 crore during the last fiscal year.

LEAD in a statement said it clocked Rs 410 crore ARR during the last fiscal year and reduced its cash burn with a significant margin. The company is now on course to profitability and becoming EBITDA positive by FY25, the statement added.

In FY23, the EBITDA margin and ROCE of the company improved to -104.30% and -72.62% during FY23. On a unit level, LEAD spent Rs 2.26 to earn a rupee of operating income in the fiscal year ending March 2023.


LEAD has raised around Rs 1,460 crore to date including a Rs 160 crore debt round in January this year, according to TheKredible. The company turned unicorn in January 2022 when it raised $100 million or Rs 750 crore at a valuation of Rs 8,250 crore ($1.1 billion).

With its model built around working with schools rather than against them, LEAD has a massive runway for growth ahead of it. With a few thousand schools enlisted for its solutions, the firm and its methods are fairly well entrenched too, which should reduce marketing costs further going ahead. The mix of technology and book sales and even activity kits ensures predictable sales increasingly, even as the heavy losses or investments in this case into market development might have done enough to allow the firm some breathing space for more profitable growth. Either way, we will know the results of all that work very soon. 

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