Funding led by US-base VC Fund GSV Ventures and existing investor WestBridge
This is GSV’s first major investment in an India-based venture
Mumbai, NFAPost: 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 unique Integrated System for schools has driven 3X growth in 2020 by helping schools deliver uninterrupted learning whether online, hybrid or in physical classrooms.
Having reached a landmark milestone of 2000+ schools catering to over 800k students, LEAD 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,” said Sumeet Mehta.
He also pointed out that the company hopes to benefit from their deep insights and leverage their network to bring more innovation to the 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,” said Sumeet Mehta.
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 honored to be investing in an organization that is changing the life trajectory of so many students,” said Deborah Quazzo.
WestBridge Capital Cofounder 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,” said Sandeep Singhal.
Founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, the company initially began operations by running affordable schools and teaching middle-school students.
The company then built its platform, the LEAD Integrated System, which it began offering in 2017 with a mission to make excellent schools accessible and affordable to every child.
LEAD’s Integrated System (IS), a one-of-its-kind solution is known to deliver visible results in student and teacher performance in schools.
Besides bringing innovation to schools, LEAD will also look 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.
LEAD School is promoted by Leadership Boulevard, one of the fastest growing EdTech companies in India. It combines technology, curriculum and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning, thus improving student learning and teacher performance in schools across the country.
The edtech partners with 2000+ schools with an estimated 8 lakh+ students in more than 400 cities, including tier 2 to tier 4 cities, in 20 States.
GSV Ventures is a female-led, multi-stage venture capital firm focused on the $7+ trillion education sector. The fund is currently investing out of GSV Ventures Fund II and is anticipating a first close in 2021 for GSV Ventures Fund III.
GSV Ventures backs innovative entrepreneurs across the “Pre-K to Gray” Arc of Learning. GSV manages over $400 million in global EdTech investments through its GSV Funds I and II and its GSV Special Purpose Vehicles. Portfolio holdings include Andela, Class Technologies, ClassDojo, Coursera, Coursehero, Degreed, Guild, MasterClass, Outlier, Remind and Photomath among others. Learn more at gsv.ventures.
WestBridge Capital is a highly experienced investment firm, managing approximately $5 billion of capital across funds in India and Mauritius that focus on investments in India.
WestBridge Capital leverages both its capital and experience to help companies succeed. WestBridge seeks to partner with some of India’s most promising mid-sized companies run by outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams for the long-term, whether they are public or private.
Over the course of their careers, the team at WestBridge has led investments in over 130 companies. Armed with this wealth of experience, the team is able to assist its portfolio companies – when required – in many areas including strategy, operations, management recruiting and fundraising.