Partner With Schools to Empower Students
The edtech startup business was founded in 2012 by Sumet Mehta and Smita Deorah who designed an integrated learning management system to help K-12 schools with their curriculum, and how the children are taught. They have also helped obtain books and resources from vendors.
The startup company began with the couple establishing their own schools in rural regions of India to learn about the challenges students and teachers faced there. One of the biggest issues was the English language as students needed years to learn enough just to understand the subjects in school, most of which were taught in English.
“Smita and I set up LEAD School to bring excellent education to small towns and affordable schools in India. We are impatient to reach out to the 1.5 million schools and 260 million school-going children in India so that we can transform the arc of education in this country. Globally, GSV is known as a specialised EdTech fund that backs innovation-oriented education companies,” a co-founder and CEO of the company Sumeet Mehta said.
As it turns out, these bets are bearing fruit. Deorah claims that even an average student that goes to a LEAD-powered school has mastered more than 75% of all subjects and attains more than one and a half years of English learning.
"This is not a small cohort data," she notes.
The learning startup business has started collaborating with affordable private schools in the past years. But LEAD School’s original mission still remains — to collaborate with schools to empower students from low-income families.
The edtech company has become even more important during the pandemic as India was forced to shut down schools in 2020. As a result, the size of the Indian business tripled last year to 2,000 schools and 800,000 students.
"LEAD serves over 800,000 students today," said Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner at GSV Ventures, before adding that the startup company has experienced tremendous growth because of its consistent delivery of high academic outcomes to students and high ‘return on education’ to teachers, school owners and parents.”
The learning business said it plans to use the new proceeds to strike new partnerships and collaborate with 25,000 schools in the next five years. There are more than 250 million students in India today and a number of education startups have started to develop solutions to provide high-quality and more affordable education.
In December last year, the edtech business announced the strategic acquisition of QuizNext, a startup focused on student assessment and practice. The aim of the acquisition is to “further enhance its overall product offerings and help schools maintain their high standards of education and deliver a 100% Complete School experience,” LEAD School said in a statement.
The integrated learning management startup company LEAD School has raised $30 million in the latest financing round led by GSV Ventures and West Bridge. The edtech business has raised $69 million in total funding to date.
About the Author
Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.