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Lead School joins Byju’s, Upgrad as the sixth edtech unicorn of India ⁠— and the second startup to hit a billion dollar valuation this year

Jan 13, 2022, 13:54 IST
Smita Deorah and Sumeet Mehta. founders of Lead SchoolLead School
  • Lead School has raised $100 million in a funding round led by WestBridge Capital.
  • The company claims to work with over 5,000 schools across 500 cities in India.
  • It is the second startup to make it to the unicorn club this year, after Fractal.
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Mumbai-based Lead School is the second startup to make it to the unicorn club this year, after raising $100 million in a funding round led by WestBridge Capital with participation from GSV Ventures at a valuation of $1.1 billion.

The ten-year-old startup joins Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, UpGrad and Vedantu as the sixth edtech unicorn of India. A unicorn, in startup parlance, is a private company that is valued over a billion dollars.

Lead School was founded in 2012 by a couple Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah. The company says it offers integrated curriculum and technology solutions to affordable private schools, enabling them to impart advanced education through an online or hybrid model.

The nine-year-old startup has raised $166 million to date, with $30 million coming in from the Series D round raised in April last year. Lead School is the second startup to hit a billion dollar valuation in the first fortnight of 2022. The first one was Mumbai and San Francisco-based Fractal.

It also claims to integrate its platform to help children from low-income families secure books and other resources from vendors directly, thereby cutting middlemen.

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The company claims to work with over 5,000 schools across 500 cities in India. It also claims to have achieved an annual contract value of $80 million in the fiscal year 2022. It now aims to reach 2 million students by the next fiscal year of 2023.

Lead School “acts as the Intel inside for affordable schools and guarantees 70%+ mastery in all subjects and all grades for low/middle income students and exceeds the guarantee,” Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner at GSV Ventures, said.

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