LEAD becomes first edtech unicorn of 2022, raises $100 mn in Series E round

Mumbai-based start-up LEAD has become the first company to enter the unicorn club this year. The start-up has raised $100 million in its Series E at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The round was led by Westbridge Ventures and GSV Ventures.

The company says that it focusses on improving a student’s school education experience rather than serving as a supplement to schooling like most other start-ups. LEAD says it will enter Academic Year 22-23 with 5,000 schools across more than 500 cities in India with an annual revenue run-rate of $80 million – and reach 2 million students.

The company plans to use the proceeds to achieve its vision of providing quality affordable education to more than 25 million students with an annual revenue run-rate of $1 billion.

Its immediate focus would be towards product and curriculum innovation, expanding its footprint and hiring top talent across functions. In the long term, the company plans to go deeper in the country to serve students in lower fee schools and expand internationally in similar geographies.

Smita Deorah, co-founder of LEAD, said, “A child spends 6 hours in school and only 1 hour in tuition classes. Transforming schools, when done right, has massive potential to alter our country’s future. LEAD, with its integrated school system, has broken new ground in this direction.”

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