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LEAD School secures $30 million in Series D round fund raise

Originally appeared in CNBC TV18 on April 26, 2021

LEAD School, a major K-12 EdTech player, that transforms affordable private schools via its Integrated System, has raised $30 million in Series D funding round led by Global VC Fund GSV Ventures along with WestBridge, an existing investor.

This is GSV Venture’s first major investment in an India-based EdTech firm. The latest funding round will be used by the company to accelerate growth by building a pan India brand, rollout of new product offerings, strategic acquisitions and hiring top talent across domains.

The company’s Integrated System for schools has driven 3X growth in 2020 by helping schools deliver uninterrupted learning whether online, hybrid or in physical classrooms. Lead currently caters to 2000+ schools and over 800k students. The venture claims it is well on its way to cater to 25,000 schools in the next five years. This is in line with its mission of making excellent education accessible and affordable to every child in the country.

This funding round follows the Series C funding of $28 million led by WestBridge and Elevar Equity in August 2020 and the acquisition of student assessment startup QuizNext in December 2020. LEAD has grown at a rapid pace over the last 3 years and the current round is its fourth round of institutional funding since its first investment led by Elevar in 2017, who continues to be a major shareholder.

LEAD School Co-founder and CEO Sumeet Mehta said, “Smita and I set up LEAD School to bring excellent education to small towns and affordable schools in India. We are impatient to reach out to the 1.5 million schools and 260 million school-going children in India so that we can transform the arc of education in this country. Globally, GSV is known as a specialised EdTech fund that backs innovation-oriented education companies. We hope to benefit from their deep insights and leverage their network to bring more innovation to our students in India. WestBridge has been a great partner and their continued support shows their faith in the difference we are making to our schools and students.”

GSV Ventures Managing Partner Deborah Quazzo said, “LEAD School is rapidly emerging as a paradigm for transforming K-12 education. Based in India and partnered with affordable school owners (a segment that is larger than the entire US K-12 system), LEAD serves over 800,000 students today. LEAD has experienced tremendous growth because of its consistent delivery of high academic outcomes to students and high ‘return on education’ to teachers, school owners and parents. GSV is honoured to be investing in an organization that is changing the life trajectory of so many students.”

WestBridge Capital Co-founder Sandeep Singhal said, “In the last few months, the edtech sector has evolved rapidly, changing the trajectory of the Indian education system.  We see great potential in LEAD School, given their innovative and focused approach in ensuring accessible, quality school-level education for all. As a firm, we believe in investing in ventures that have a large scale impact and are convinced LEAD School will create a strong positive impact on the educational outcomes of millions of young minds.”

Founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, LEAD is looking at hiring quality talent that can help the company achieve its long-term vision of providing high-quality education to low-fee schools in India. LEAD has been aggressively strengthening its leadership team with some senior level appointments including Ritwik Khare as Chief Commercial Officer, Harsh Kundra as Chief Technology Officer and Vipul Redey as Chief Excellence Officer amongst others.