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Lead School raises $100 Mn in Series E, joins the unicorn club

On Thursday India’s rapidly growing unicorn club added another member after edtech startup Lead School announced that it has raised $100 Mn in Series E round. WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures spearheaded the round. This is their largest edtech investment, according to the statement issued by the VC firms.    

Lead School is the 6th edtech startup to join the coveted unicorn club. It is also the third unicorn of 2022, after Mamaearth and Fractal joined the club earlier this month. This is the 6th institutional round for the Mumbai based startup since 2017.

The company will use the proceedings to further its ambition of providing affordable quality education to more than 25 Mn students at an annual run rate of $1 Bn. Simultaneously, it will use the funds to improve its products, curriculum innovation, expanding its footprints and ramping up hiring across the functions.    

Lead School was founded by husband-wife duo Summet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah (see the image) in 2012. The duo started the startup with the aim of reforming and developing India’s primary schools, which is by far the most neglected part of India’s educational system.

Lead School co-founders Smita Deorah (left) and Summet Mehta (Right)

Most edtech majors like Byju’s and Vedantu focus on improving the academic performance of K12 students. But Lead School has taken a different route by attempting to reform the very foundation of the educational system, the schools.

Lead School claims that its partner schools are able to provide affordable quality education by giving exposure to students to modern infrastructure, highly trained teachers, deeply researched and highly innovative curriculum.

“If India has to achieve its true potential, its school has to significantly transform so that every child can achieve their true potential. But in K-12, everyone has been talking about edtech that is direct-to-students by circumventing schools. And Every one focuses on test prep and tuitions. Because people have accepted that schools cannot be improved. But we thought differently. A child spends six hours in schools and one hour in tuition. If we can transform schools, imagine what is possible? That’s why we focused on school edtech,”  Smita Deorah said.         

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