Lead School Success Story- Technology-Based School Transformation System

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Feb 16, 2022 11 min read
Lead School Success Story- Technology-Based School Transformation System

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Lead School.

The huge COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused chaos in the global economy, has also suffocated the education sector. Around 1.5 billion children, or 90% of the world's primary, intermediate, and tertiary students, are physically unable to attend school.

Educators now demand technology solutions to facilitate remote teaching and learning, which has had a revolutionary effect. However, digital transformation in the education industry is not confined to online education and learning after COVID-19.

Although some educational institutions have embraced technological solutions previously as well, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity of digital transformation in the educational environment was understood in most schools and colleges. Lead School provides a technology-based school transformation system that ensures children receive a high-quality education.

Know more about the company profile, startup story, business model, founders, etc., of Lead School by reading this article further.

Lead School - Company Highlights

Startup Name Lead School
Also known as LEAD
Legal Name Leadership Boulevard Pvt. Ltd.
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Industry [Ed-tech], [E-learning]
Founders Smita Deorah, Sumeet Mehta
Founded 2013
Areas Served India
Current CEO Sumeet Mehta
Website www.leadschool.in

About Lead School
Lead School - Latest News
Lead School - Industry
Lead School - Name, Logo, and Tagline
Lead School - Founders
Lead School - Startup Story
Lead School - Vision, and Mission Statement
Lead School - Business Model, and Revenue Model
Lead School - Funding, and Investors
Lead School - Growth and Revenues
Lead School - Competitors
Lead School - Future Plans

About Lead School

Lead School provides a technology-based school transformation system that ensures children receive a high-quality education. The EdTech company assists in the digitization and transformation of inexpensive private schools to better serve children from moderate and low-income households.

It creates an integrated system to assist K-12 schools in developing curriculum, teaching methods, obtaining books and other materials from vendors, and better evaluating learning outcomes.

Lead School was founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 2013. Through significant use of technology and a centralized curriculum design team, the organization partners with public and private school owners to assist in curriculum creation and teacher training, allowing kids from impoverished neighborhoods to have access to cheap and high-quality education.

The startup runs a school management software application. It has characteristics such as student learning surveillance, instructor performance, teacher training, and course content delivery. It also offers digital learning resources, as well as traditional readers and workbooks, eBooks, and learning activities. Lead also has a mobile app for Android phones and tablets.

Lead School - Latest News

After receiving $100 million in funding, Lead School becomes the third unicorn of 2022. Unicorns are privately owned companies with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more.

In April of 2020, the Mumbai-based business received $30 million to deliver tech-enabled solutions to schools with an emphasis on digital learning through an online or hybrid model (of the digital and physical world) of schools.

After D2C brand Mamaearth and artificial intelligence firm Fractal, Lead School is the third business to join India's unicorn club in 2022. It is also the sixth edtech business in India to achieve unicorn status.

β€œIn K-12, everyone has been talking about edtech that is direct to students by circumventing schools. And everyone focuses on test prep and tuition. Because people have accepted that schools cannot be improved. But we thought differently,” Sumeet Mehta, cofounder of Lead School, told. β€œThat’s why we focussed on a school-based edtech (solution).”

Lead School, according to Mehta, works with 5,000 schools in 500 cities. The firm hopes to reach 2 million kids throughout the country by the start of the next fiscal year. In 2021-22, according to Mehta, the edtech business will have an annual contract value of $80 million (derived from cooperating schools).


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Lead School - Industry

The Covid-19 outbreak has expedited the use of technology in India's normally slow-paced education sector. Investors began pouring money into a sector that they had previously avoided, with India seeing $0.5 billion in EdTech funding in 2019 and $4 billion in 2020 and 2021.

The EdTech industry has grown at a breakneck pace in recent years, and it has only accelerated since Covid-19. According to research, the EdTech industry was around $750 million in 2020 and would reach $4 billion by 2025. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the wider education business, which is expected to be worth $135 billion by 2020, according to the same analysis. Early students in pre-school through continuous learners wishing to improve their skills are all part of the market.


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Lead School - Name, Logo, and Tagline

Company Logo of Lead School
Company Logo of Lead School

Lead School's slogan says, "Lead Se Padhenge Toh Lead Karenge."

Lead School's tagline is, "Transforming Indian schools with world-class education."

Lead School was founded in 2013 by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah to provide innovative school ed-tech options to all stakeholders. The company was founded for students out there who might lead their generation ahead, as the name indicates.

Lead School - Founders

Lead School was founded in 2013, by the couple, Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah
Founders of Lead School - Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah

Sumeet Mehta

Sumeet Mehta is Lead School's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Sumeet has also worked for Olay Asia Pacific and Vicks & Metamucil Asia Pacific as a brand manager. He formerly worked at Zest Philippines, as an assistant brand manager.

Smita Deorah

Co-founder, Chief Learning Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of Lead School, Smita Deorah also founded Sparsh, a non-profit organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young children from low-income communities in the field of education, enabling them to maximize their potential and live life powerfully, primarily by operating K-12 schools in rural and taluka areas and providing access to high-quality education.

Lead School has an employee strength of 1000+ employees.

Lead School - Startup Story

Affordable private schools, which have sprouted up in small communities as a substitute for free and low-quality public schools, are typically just slightly better. These schools, which number between 200,000 and 400,000 students, have poor academic attainment. Unfortunately, neither NGOs nor enterprises working in the field of education technology have much time for them.

That's the difference Sumeet Mehta (whose parents were also teachers in rural areas) and Smita Deorah have tried to bridge with their Lead schools initiative. Both believed that nobody was resolving the difficulties that smaller towns' APS faced, so they decided to take action by establishing their independent schools.

When a friend offered them land in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in 2013, they took the leap. They established the Shanti Niketan English School with their own money, starting with just a few learners and gradually increasing to roughly 25. They hired and trained a few local educators. However, Mehta quickly realized that providing a high-quality education to predominantly first-generation students was more difficult than they had anticipated.

Students could recognize the alphabet and recognize letters, but they struggled to put words together in a phrase. Likewise, while they could answer a math question using a formula, they went blank when faced with a question written in English terms.

Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah, a couple, founded Lead School in 2013. The firm claims to provide cheap private schools with an integrated curriculum and technological solutions, allowing them to deliver advanced education via an online or hybrid structure. Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah, started Lead with one school in 2013 with an approach to provide disruptive school edtech solutions for all stakeholders.

The Lead School team discovered that kids who were first-generation learners leapfrogged and filled gaps fast if the three primary concerns – a concentration on English, a more adaptable curriculum, and a more trained teacher – were addressed.

The Lead team grew as a result of their efforts paying off. In Maharashtra's tier-III and tier-IV towns, four new schools have been added. They now operate five schools with around 2000 pupils who pay tuition ranging from Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 each year.

They expanded their learning approach to their partner schools in 2016, allowing the firm to impact the lives of even more children. Their well-researched worldwide standard curriculum and integrated solutions are presently being used by over 3,000 Lead Powered Schools.

Lead School - Vision, and Mission Statement

Lead School's mission and vision statement say, "With humble values of empathy and integrity, we intend to empower India by making excellent school education accessible and affordable to each and every child. We constantly sync our educational values with our leadership definitions, helping children LEARN well, THINK deep, DO good, and BE leaders. Backed with strong core principles and a motto to strive for excellence, our vision is clear and defined – to provide propulsive learning opportunities to over 25 million children by 2026."

Lead School - Business Model, and Revenue Model

Lead School is a software-as-a-service company that enables and enhances educational institutions. It's a full-stack assessment, education, and retraining solution. Lead also has a separate app for parents that allows them to follow their children's development while also allowing their pupils to learn from home.

Lead School operates on a SaaS model, charging schools a set cost per student per year. Adopting Lead pays for itself since it frequently eliminates the need for a slew of other tools like an LMS, textbooks, and administrative software.

Lead also increases school enrolment and helps school revenue. The fact that Lead School has a 100% net retention rate proves its unique selling proposition.


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Lead School - Funding, and Investors

Over the course of five rounds of financing, Lead School has raised a total of $166 million.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Jan 13, 2022 Series E $100M GSV Ventures, Westbridge Capital
Apr 26, 2021 Series D $29.32M GSV Ventures, Westbridge Capital
Aug 21, 2020 Series C $27.99M Westbridge Capital
Sep 1, 2019 Series B $7M Elevar Equity
Jul 1, 2017 Series A $1M Elevar Equity

Lead School - Growth and Revenues

After direct-to-consumer brand Mamaearth and artificial intelligence firm Fractal, Lead School is now the third business to join India's unicorn club in 2022. It is also the sixth edtech business in India to achieve unicorn status.

Unicorns are privately held companies with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more. Lead School, according to Mehta, works with over 3,000 schools in more than 400 cities. The company has doubled its valuation in the past 9 months, as of February 2022. The firm hopes to reach 2 million kids throughout the country by the start of the next fiscal year. It currently extends its services to over 1.2 million students and to more than 25,000 teachers.

In 2021-22, according to Mehta, the edtech business will have an annual contract value of $80 million (derived from cooperating schools).

β€œLead’s growth last year, despite Covid disruptions, underlines its consumer-first approach and deep focus on learning outcomes. We are excited to double down our investment in Lead, to support its mission of transforming the education sector in India,” said Sandeep Singhal, managing director at WestBridge Capital.

LEAD School has announced an ESOP monetization scheme for its employees, which would be worth around $3 mn, as of February 2022. This ESOP plan is estimated to help the startup retain talent along with helping them gain from the same. Around 20% of its employees own ESOPs and have also offered ESOPs as appraisal bonuses previously.

The unicorn edtech startup's operating revenues witnessed a 2X jump from Rs 28.6 crore to Rs 57.1 crore in FY21. The major income driver for the company is the sale of the products, including devices and textbooks along with curriculum advisory and other support services to its client schools, which accounts for around 99% of the Lead School's revenues. The remaining 1% of the revenues come from its services fees.

The annual expenses of Lead School multiplied by 128% from Rs 66.4 crore to Rs 186.6 crore. To go by the unit level, Lead School has spent Rs 3.27 to earn a single rupee of revenue. Β  Β  Β 

Lead School - Competitors

CodeChef, Embibe, uFaber Edutech, ClassTag, and Coassemble are among Lead School's major competitors.


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Lead School - Future Plans

β€œLEAD School acts as the Intel inside for affordable schools and guarantees 70%+ mastery in all subjects and all grades for low/middle income students and exceeds the guarantee,” said Deborah

In the next school year, Lead School anticipates an annual revenue run-rate of $80 million. The firm intends to use the additional funding to improve its product and curriculum. It wants to reach 25 million students in 60,000 schools by the end of 2026, and increase its annual revenue to $1 billion.

With more than 250 million school-aged children, India has been one of the largest global educational markets. Indian parents place a high value on their children's education because they believe it is the way to economic advancement and a better life.

Several companies, including edtech behemoths Byju's, Unacademy, and Vedantu, as well as American behemoths Amazon, Facebook, and Google, are striving to reach the country's students.

β€œWe, at GSV, believe that the mastery guarantee is a revolutionary offering in K12 education space and has the potential to be societally transformational for students. With this strong and unique value proposition and exceptional management team, LEAD is well on its path to becoming the world’s largest and most impactful school edtech company,” she added.

FAQ

What is Lead School?

Lead School is an edtech company that partners with public and private school owners and provides a technology-based school transformation system that ensures children receive a high-quality education.

Who is the founder of Lead School?

Lead School was founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 2013.

Is Lead School free?

Lead School operates on a SaaS model, charging schools a set cost per student per year.

Which companies do Lead School compete with?

CodeChef, Embibe, uFaber Edutech, ClassTag, and Coassemble are among Lead School's major rivals.

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