Ed-tech company LEAD School said Thursday it has raised $100 million (about Rs 740 crore) in a Series E round that pushed it into the unicorn club of startups with a valuation of $1.1 billion.
Private equity firm WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures led the new round, making this one of their largest ed-tech investments, LEAD School said. Both are existing investors in LEAD, and had led the Series D round of $30 million in April last year.
LEAD becomes the sixth ed-tech company in India to enter the unicorn league, a tech industry term for startups with a valuation of at least $1 billion.
India’s biggest ed-tech company is Byju’s, which became a unicorn four years ago and is now valued over $20 billion.
Four more ed-tech companies have become unicorns since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic boosted demand for online learning. Unacademy hit the milestone in 2020 while upGrad, Eruditus and Vedantu became unicorns in 2021.
Media industry veteran Ronnie Screwvala-led upGrad joined the unicorn listed after raising $185 million from Singapore state investment firm Temasek and other investors in August last year. Eruditus followed upGrad just days later, raising $650 million at a valuation of $3.2 billion from investors such as SoftBank and Accel. Vedantu joined the club in late September after raising $100 million.
LEAD, operated by Leadership Boulevard Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2012 by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah. Mehta is also the company’s CEO. The company partners with schools, and combines technology, curriculum and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning.
The company said in December it served more than 2,000 schools across 400 cities, and reaches 800,000 students. It aims to reach out to 60,000 schools and 25 million school-going children in India by 2026, it said at the time.