Fundraising well underway, majority of $800 million received, according to Byju’s

Following a media report alleging Byju raised a bogus investment and delayed payment to a group company, the edtech giant said its fundraising efforts are on track and the majority of the 800 million dollars had already been received.

“The balance is also expected soon,” a Byju spokesperson said.

The company also said its payments to education company Aakash for a $1 billion acquisition completed last year have been completed and audited financial results will be announced within the next 10 days.

According to a report by The morning context, the $800 million funding the firm announced in March has slipped. He also said money from Sumeru Ventures, a round participant, had gone off the rails, raising questions about the fund’s track record.

According to data platforms Tracxn and Crunchbase, Sumeru Ventures is based in Los Angeles, US, and has also backed other unicorns such as food delivery company Swiggy and local tech platform VerSe.

In March this year, Byju’s said it had raised $800 million in the latest funding round, with founder and CEO Byju Raveendran contributing half the amount. Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners and BlackRock also participated in the round, bringing the Bengaluru-based company’s valuation to around $22 billion from $18 billion previously.

After making a $400 million personal investment in the company, Raveendran’s stake was reduced from 22% to around 25%, sources said. They said Raveendran was in talks with various international and domestic banks to raise $400 million in a loan against equity, to help it bolster investor interest at a time when valuations are under pressure.

A few outlets also said Byju’s was pushing back payments for a roughly $1 billion acquisition that closed last year. Meanwhile, other reports have also indicated that to expand in the US, Byju’ has offered to buy 2U Inc. in an all-cash deal that values ​​the US-listed edtech company. over a billion dollars.

“Our payments to Aakash are closed,” Byju’s spokesperson said. “The audited financial results will be announced within the next 10 days.”

The company also issued pink slips to hundreds of employees. It has laid off about 500 employees at its group companies—WhiteHat Jr and Toppr. This is an initiative to improve profitability, according to the company. The number of layoffs, affecting various functions in the department, could increase, sources said. While another media report put the number of those laid off at around 2,500, the company denied it.

Byju’s said that to reduce layoffs across the organization after multiple acquisitions, the company had to lay off nearly one percent of its more than 50,000 employees.

“This withdrawal is the result of a strategic decision to improve the business efficiency of Byju and its group companies,” Byju’s spokesperson said. “Byju’s remains a net lessor. With 50,000 employees and growing, we are immensely proud of our role as the biggest job creator among startups in India. Byju’s continues to hire at all levels for various businesses, departments and functions.”

All of these developments come at a time when the company headed by Byju Raveendran was planning an IPO. The company wants to go public by next year. It can do a primary listing in the US and a secondary listing in India or vice versa, reports had suggested earlier. The United States and India are key markets for Byju’s.

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