Invest ~Rs. 160 crores in fresh funding to fuel LEAD’s growth
Funds raised from venture debt firms Alteria Capital and Stride Ventures, as well as Standard Chartered Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank
Bengaluru, January 11th, 2023: LEAD, India’s largest School Edtech, today announced that established banks and marquee investors have backed its robust and sustainable business model with an investment of ~Rs. 160 Crores. LEAD’s latest round of funding was via a mix of long term capital from Alteria Capital and Stride Ventures, India’s marquee venture debt investors; and working capital financing from prestigious banks such as Standard Chartered Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. This latest funding round underscores LEAD’s ability to attract traditional financing, who place strong emphasis on sustainable cash flows and positive unit economics. With the path to profitability for LEAD’s base business of Affordable Private Schools already established through existing capital, the new round of fundraising will help finance the company’s organic and inorganic growth ambitions.
Sumeet Mehta, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LEAD, said, “Traditionally, start-ups have had limited avenues for raising capital beyond equity. However, with our strong unit economics and 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. LEAD is poised for 2X growth and this latest round of funding will help us fast-track our mission of providing high quality, integrated School Edtech solutions to over 60,000 schools across India by 2026.”
Ankit Agarwal, Partner, Alteria Capital, said, “In line with our core thesis of backing high-growth companies that drive deep innovation and impact, we are excited to have been a part of the debt round in LEAD School. LEAD’s journey of success as India’s largest School Edtech company underscores the massive opportunity for technology-enabled disruption in school education in India. We are confident that our investment will further help LEAD achieve its growth objectives.”
Apoorva Sharma, Partner, Stride Ventures, added, “LEAD’s vision is to transform K-12 education in India and create widespread social impact. Its technology-enabled approach to make education interactive, measure student progress and standardise curriculum delivery has the potential to transform the education system. We are excited to be a part of this dynamic company’s growth journey.”
Last week, LEAD entered into an agreement with Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, to acquire its local K-12 learning business in India. With this acquisition, LEAD will immediately expand its reach to over 9000 schools and will further enhance its product portfolio to cater to the entire spectrum of 5 lakh+ private schools in India.
In January 2022, LEAD raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion, thereby emerging as India’s first School Edtech unicorn.