After BYJU’S and Unacademy, another edtech unicorn LEAD (formerly LEAD School) has laid off employees amid the ongoing funding slowdown.
While BusinessLine could not determine the exact number of layoffs, a source close to the development said strength of certain teams have been slashed by 40 per cent. “Academics team was 48-members strong, out of which 23 people have been laid off,” the source added.
“We have concluded our performance appraisal process last month, and each year, we experience some churn during this time. The resulting reduction in our workforce is less than 100 persons. We would like to assure all our stakeholders that LEAD is adequately staffed for its growth aspirations and with schools across India now open again, we are working on bringing innovation and transformation back to these institutions,” said a company spokesperson.
LEAD was valued at $1.1 billion in a $100-million funding round announced earlier this year. Founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, LEAD has built a full-stack school edtech solution. The company combines technology, curriculum and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning to improve student learning outcomes and teacher performance in schools across the country.
LEAD had earlier said it entered academic year 2022-23 with 5,000 schools across 500+ cities in India and an annual revenue run-rate of $80 million.
According to PwC India Report-Startup Deals Tracker, the total funding in the Indian start-up ecosystem fell by 40 per cent during Q2 CY22 to reach $6.8 billion. The analysts at PwC attributed the dip to a global slowdown, decrease in tech stock valuations, inflation and geopolitical instability.
This funding slowdown has resulted in start-ups rationalising costs, laying off employees and increasing their focus on profitability. According to Inc42’s layoff tracker, over 11,000 employees have been laid off by Indian start-ups in 2022.