US edtech investor GSV Ventures leads funding in WestBridge-backed LEAD School
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Business-to-business startup LEAD School has raised $30 million (Rs 224 crore) in its Series D round of funding led by US-based edtech investor GSV Ventures.   

Existing investor WestBridge Capital also participated in this round which marked GSV’s debut investment in India’s digital learning space. 

The company will use the capital to push new product offerings, for strategic acquisitions and to hire more professionals. 

“We are impatient to reach out to the 1.5 million schools and 260 million schoolgoing children in India so that we can transform the arc of education in this country,” said Sumeet Mehta, co-founder of the firm. 

LEAD School, founded by Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, began operations by running affordable schools and teaching middle-school students. It then rolled out its platform, the LEAD School Integrated System, in 2017. 

The firm claims to have so far partnered over 2,000 schools that have more than eight lakh students across 400 cities in the country. According to VCCEdge, the company reported net sales of Rs 28.6 crore for the 2019-20 financial year, and losses of Rs 36.3 crore for the same period. 

“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 School serves over 800,000 students today,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV. 

The company had raised $28 million in its Series C round of funding led by WestBridge Capital in August last year. It had also bought gamified student assessment platform QuizNext last year. 

The edtech sector has been attracting increased investor attention after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in demand for online learning platforms and solutions. 

Earlier in the day, edtech firm upGrad announced it had raised $120 million (Rs 898 crore) from Singapore state investor Temasek in its first external funding. 

Earlier this month, Matrix Partners India and 021 Capital, the venture capital firm backed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, made an early-stage investment in edtech startup Createjoy Technologies. 

In March, Bengaluru-based Think & Learn, the company that owns and operates edtech platform Byju’s, raised nearly $460 million from an investor consortium led by MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings. 

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