India-Based LEAD School, Private Schools, Raises a $100M In Series E, at a $1.1B Valuation


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Over the decades, we have seen advancement in every area, but one field that lacks upgradation is education. If someone checks the history of education in our country, they can see that not many times have major reforms been made to make it more pertinent but what we all need to question is its relevancy. Our current education lacks a lot of real-life skills such as answering a very common question that we all have to face in the interviews by the interviewer i.e., Where do you want to see yourself in 5 years?

Lead School 100m Series singhtechcrunch 

With the widespread of EdTech setups pan across the country, the way we are imparting our education is changing. However, it is not accessible to all of us because of the economic diversity in the country. The EdTech market is really grooming day by day and LEAD is one of the latest names to join this ever-growing list.  LEAD school has probably become one of the largest EdTech companies providing education to the students in a modernized and practical way. Till date, they have successfully been running over 3000+ schools covering 20+ states & 400+ cities. Not only it is revolutionizing the educational landscape in our country but also created a lot of new job opportunities as till now have more than 25000+ teachers, with 1,200,000+ students enrolled in it.

Their objective is to bring exposure, experiences and learning that the small towns in India are devoid of. LEAD came to the headlines when they conducted an exclusive masterclass on Communication skills with popular speaker and author Chetan Bhagat. This masterclass covered storytelling, verbal communication and written communication which impacts all aspects of our lives whether it include work, relationships, and academics. The current situation is already troublesome as so many graduates are in their homes sitting without jobs. Lead works closely with the students to understand what problems are they facing and then try to solve them through their model of education which is based upon multimodal learning, unmatched exposure, and school learning which connects with home learning and gives them a way to learn at their own pace.

How did this West Bridge invest?

LEAD began its journey as a startup and, like every startup, needs some outside investments before they even get off the ground. According to reports circulating in the media houses, LEAD has raised a funding of 160 Crores just a day after the company announced its layoffs. The funding round was a mix of long-term debt capital from venture debt firms Alteria Capital and Stride Ventures, working capital finance from banks such as HDFC banks, Standard Chartered Bank, and ICICI Bank. This became a point of discussion when other EdTech startups are looking for cost reduction because they are expecting slow growth due to the uncertain economic conditions that are prevailing right now.

The CEO of the company, Sumeet Mehta said that, “traditionally, startups have had limited avenues for raising capital beyond equity. However, with our strong unit economics and a clear path to profitability, we have been able to attract non- dilutive, traditional capital from India’s biggest banks and largest venture debt funds, which is value accretive to our shareholders”.

Statement Of Deorah

He added that further Lead is poised for 2x growth and that the latest round of funding will help us fast-track our mission of providing high-quality, integrated school Edtech solutions to cover 60,000 schools across India by 2026. Lead was an EdTech startup started by Summet Mehta and his wife Smita Deorah in the year 2012 with a scope of providing international level of education to as many students in both rural and urban cities of India. Deorah, her wife, initiated this by inaugurating a Lead school in the form of an NGO in Maharashtra. Lead collaborates with schools and provides them with integrated package such as international level curriculum, modern courses, teacher’s training etc.

The actually deals with parents, teachers, and students separately. They provide teachers training, infrastructure, digital mode classes, and even much more. The students get the education through interactive classes, homework, assignments, projects, creative and innovative way of learning etc. It has grown over time from a simple initiative of an NGO to becoming India’s largest school EdTech company. In 2021, the revenue of LEAD was 57 Crore, before that it was 28 Crores which clearly shows its growth and popularity among parents as they noticed that their children were able to understand and solve tricky questions because their fundamentals were clear. Deorah highlighted a crucial point that if India has to achieve its true potential, then the schools play a significant role in helping the students reach their full potential. 

Mission Of Lead

She also said that on an average, a child spends six hours in school and one hour on tuition. After that, they do not have the time to further engage themselves in other kinds of stuff and not for self-assessment. She further added that in the schools that are partners with LEAD, the learning process is increased by 20 to 25%. In the new academic year, LEAD schools are expecting to achieve an annual revenue of $80 million, and they will use this revenue to bring innovation to their product and curriculum. It is also aimed to reach 25 million students and even scale its April revenue to $1 billion.

Indian parents spend heavily on their kids’ education as they see it as a way to improve their kids’ financial position, ensuring that their kids enjoy a much better life than they have. India has emerged over the years as one of the largest education markets with over 250 million students going to school. The Indian EdTech setup already has huge giants like Byju’s, Vedantu, and Unacademy as well as American giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are all in a race to reach the students in the country, but reach is restricted to the urban cities and high-class people only.

Funding Amount 

LEAD school acts as a bridge to provide the other section of the population that lives in rural areas and even for all the low/middle-income students who can’t afford to enroll in these cash-sucking giants. The way it has progressed till now is commendable, and it won’t be wrong to say that it’s on the way to becoming one of the world’s largest and most impactful school EdTech companies.

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