Layoffs are an unfortunate outcome of the economic realities of the business world. The primary objective of any organization is to remain profitable and grow. However, sometimes situations arise where a company needs to let go of a section of its workforce to ensure smooth operations or to cut costs. One such instance happened recently when the Mumbai-based edtech unicorn, LEAD, announced a layoff of 80 employees. This move has stirred debate in the industry and has left many questioning the future of the company. In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind the layoffs at LEAD, the company’s history, funding, and performance, and what lies ahead.
LEAD was founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012. The company’s objective was to transform the Indian education system by making it more accessible, engaging, and effective. LEAD’s platform provides technology-enabled personalized learning experiences to children from kindergarten to grade 12. The company is focused on creating a holistic learning experience that includes academic and extracurricular activities.
Funding and Investors
LEAD has been a recipient of many funding rounds since its launch. To date, the company has raised approximately $166 million across various funding stages, with its latest funding round being Series E. Major investors in the company include WestBridge Capital, Sequoia Capital India, and GSV Ventures.
LEAD has been on an upward trajectory since its launch. The company claims to have over 30,000 partner schools and a presence in more than 900 cities across India. The edtech unicorn’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) is reportedly over $100 million. With these impressive figures, the company was expected to continue growing in the future.
Reason for Layoffs
On April 8th, 2022, LEAD announced that it was laying off 80 employees in Mumbai. The company cited a realignment of resources as the reason for the layoffs. The edtech unicorn stated that it was restructuring its operations to focus on core business areas and increase efficiency. This move has come as a shock to many, given the company’s previous trajectory of growth and expansion.
Sumeet Mehta, the co-founder and CEO of LEAD, stated that the layoffs were a difficult but necessary step in the company’s path towards sustainability. He further mentioned that the company’s focus remained on providing quality education to children across India. Reports also suggest that the company offered support to the affected employees, including outplacement services, financial aid, and access to counselling.
In these turbulent times, layoffs have become a common occurrence. The edtech industry, in particular, has seen its share of ups and downs. The situation at LEAD has offered a glimpse into the challenges that edtech companies face. While the industry holds immense potential, it remains susceptible to changes in customer preferences, funding, and government policy. What lies ahead for LEAD is uncertain, but the company’s focus on providing quality education remains steadfast. Only time will tell whether LEAD will bounce back from this situation and continue to grow.