A girl starts learning from online classes for students through a WhatsApp group, in Mumbai on Friday.

Bengaluru: Education technology startup LEAD School, which helps private schools digitize their curriculum, has raised $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 roll out of new product offerings, increase its school network in Tier 2-3 cities and hire talent across domains. 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.

The eight-year Mumbai-based firm was co-founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah.

It started off as a full-fledged school focused on middle school students. Later in 2017, the firm began offering an ‘integrated system’ for schools by helping them digitize the entire curriculum. It also provides affordable online teaching tools to both students and teachers.

The startup currently works with more than 800 schools and claims to serve more than 3 lakh students across the country with a focus on cities in two, three, and four geographies.

Sumeet Mehta, co-founder and chief executive of LEAD School said that the firm’s partner schools have seen class averages improve from below 60% to above 70% after they adopted digitized curricula.

“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,” Mehta added.

“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. 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.

A three-month nationwide lockdown in the country gave a major boost to edtech startups as most schools were required to adopt online learning tools to ensure uninterrupted teaching. Startups like Byjus, Vedantu, Unacademy who are well-funded firms in the online learning space saw accelerated adoption in the last few months as students and teachers continued to stay at home.

Recently, Byju’s ventured into online computer code learning and training space focused on kids by acquiring WhiteHat Jr for $300 million, making it one of the biggest M&A in the edtech space in India.

Other startups in the edtech sector are also capitalizing as students go online for learning across cities.

In July, Toppr raised $50 million in a Series D round as it plans to scale up operations. IN the same month, Vedantu also raised $100 million, as part of its Series D round, which has doubled its valuation to $600 million, making it the second-most valued edtech startup in India after Byju’s.

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