BENGALURU: BYJU’S, which is the world’s most valuable edtech start-up, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. On Thursday, Member of Parliament Karti P Chidambaram said he has written to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), a fraud regulator, urging them to launch an investigation into the finances of the edtech behemoth.
He raised three key issues - Missing Rs 2,500 crore in the company’s funding, BYJU’S has not received Rs 1,200 crore funding from Oxshott Capital Partners and delay in filing its audit report. “At a time when BYJU’S proposes to expand its business and acquire Nasdaq-listed company 2U at a valuation of $2.4 billion, while parallelly firing employees to cut costs, it becomes pertinent to review the company’s finances,” he said.
In March this year, the edtech giant raised $800 million from Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners and BlackRock. As part of this fundraising, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of BYJU’S, made a personal investment of $400 million.
Of the total $800 million funding, Sumeru Ventures and Oxshott Capital have not transferred $250 million. While Sumeru Ventures didn’t respond to an email sent by TNIE, BYJU’S spokesperson attributed the delays to “macro-economic reasons”. The spokesperson added that it expects the remainder of the capital to arrive by the end of August.
Chidambaram also pointed out news reports and said, “Oxshott Capital Partners is said to have made an investment of `1,200 crores in BYJU’S. Nine months on and BYJU’S has confirmed that it has not yet received this funding from the investor.” If it completes $800 million in funding, the company would be valued at $22 billion. Oxshott is a little-known firm, and it is reported that to date it has made one investment in BYJU’S.
Apart from layoffs, BYJU’S is yet to file its financial results. Earlier, the company had delayed payments to shareholders of tuition chain Aakash Educational Services which it acquired for $1 billion last year. Later, on July 4, the company spokesperson said, “Our payments to Aakash are closed and the audited financial results are going to be announced in the next 10 days.” According to recent reports, many edtech companies in India including BYJU’S have been pulled up for mis-selling.
Karti Chidambaram raised 3 key issues
Karti Chidambaram raised three key issues - Missing Rs 2,500 crore in the company’s funding, BYJU’S has not received `1,200 crore funding from Oxshott Capital Partners and delay in filing its audit report. Earlier, it had delayed payments to shareholders of Aakash Educational Services that it acquired for $1 bn last year