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LEAD School to go to town(s), raises US $28Mn

Aims to democratize excellent learning in Tier 2-3-4 towns where the majority lives

In the last few months, the edtech sector has evolved rapidly, changing the trajectory of the Indian education system multifold.

MUMBAI, Aug 21, 2020 – Mumbai-based edtech company LEAD School, that transforms affordable private schools via its Integrated System, has raised US $28 million in a Series C funding round led by Westbridge Capital along with existing investor Elevar Equity. The latest round of funding will be used by the company to accelerate the development and rollout of new product offerings, increase its school network in Tier 2-3 cities and hire talent across domains. 

LEAD School has grown at a rapid pace over the last 3 years and the current Series C round is its third round of institutional funding since 2017. Both the previous rounds were led by Elevar Equity, which remains a major stakeholder.

Founders Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah began their LEAD School journey by running affordable schools and teaching middle school students. Through their hands-on experience, they built the LEAD School Integrated System with a mission to make excellent schools accessible and affordable to every child. In 2017, the company started offering its Integrated System to schools and has seen rapid adoption with more than 800 schools partnering with LEAD School. LEAD School now serves over 3 lakh+ students studying in these affordable private schools.

LEAD School Co-founder and CEO Sumeet Mehta, “We aim to democratize excellent learning by transforming schools in Tier 2-3-4 towns where the majority of India lives. Our firm belief is that every child, irrespective of their economic background or location of birth, should have access to an excellent education. LEAD School partners with affordable private schools to transform them into centres of excellent learning through our Integrated System. In the last 3 years, we have seen rapid adoption by schools and class averages improvement from below 60% to above 70%. During this pandemic too, our Integrated System has enabled schools to deliver an uninterrupted learning experience for all students. The new round of funding will help us bring more innovation and reach more students and schools.”

“In the new world order, the lockdown ensuing the pandemic has given a massive boost to online education. In the last few months, the edtech sector has evolved rapidly, changing the trajectory of the Indian education system multifold. 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, Managing Director, WestBridge Capital.

“We have seen LEAD go from strength to strength, growing to over 800 affordable private schools from fewer than 10 when Elevar first invested. What really differentiates LEAD is their strong solution orientation - understanding and addressing each school stakeholder’s pain points in depth, while keeping the child’s learning outcomes at the center of it all. We are even more excited about the future - as LEAD builds to solve the education quality conundrum in schools, at scale for the first time”, said Sandeep Farias, Founder and Managing Director, Elevar Equity.

LEAD School is betting big with LEAD School Integrated System (IS), a one-of-its-kind solution to transform school quality in India. With LEAD School IS, schools can offer a complete schoolingexperience to their students, irrespective of whether they’re physically open or shut. With this new round of funding, the company aims to bring innovation to schools hitherto unseen in India.

About LEAD School

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. LEAD School partners with 800+ schools with an estimated 3 lakh+ students in more than 300 cities, including tier 2 to tier 4 cities, in 15 States.      

About WestBridge Capital

WestBridge Capital is a highly experienced investment firm, managing approximately $3 billion of capital, which focuses 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. In the last fifteen years, the team has led investments in over 80 companies and oversaw a total investment of over $2 billion. The WestBridge team is one of the most recognized in the industry and has a combined 50+ years of experience in investing in Indian 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. WestBridge Capital has offices in Mauritius, California and Bangalore.

About Elevar Equity

Elevar Equity connects the economic vibrancy of low income communities with capital markets. Elevar has been the founding or early stage investor in entrepreneur-led business models that demonstrate a direct correlation between high impact and returns. The Elevar Method has democratized access to essential products and services for over 30 million households and catalyzed billions of dollars of capital into ~40 companies, in India and Latin America.

 

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