Edtech giant Byju’s misses revenue projection in delayed financial account

Indian edtech giant Byju’s said on Saturday that revenue of its core business, its largest, in the financial year ending March 2022 stood at $429.18 million, making it clear that the most valuable Indian startup has missed the unaudited $1.25 billion revenue it projected for the group a year ago. Byju’s also missed its revenue projection in the financial year that ended in March 2021 — and also delayed filing of the accounts back then.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, which has yet to file the financial accounts with the local regulator, shared partial data in a press statement today. The EBITDA loss for the core business shrunk somewhat to $270.9 million, the startup said.

Missing its own projections and the prolonged delay in filing of the financial accounts are the latest setback for the startup that is grappling with scores of challenges. Its CFO Ajay Goel left the startup late last month, following high-profile and abrupt departures of auditor Deloitte and three of Byju’s key board members in June.

At least two key Byju’s investors are waiting for the startup to come clear about its financial accounts and then address its governance issues, they told TechCrunch on the condition of anonymity.

“The takeaways from a uniquely belligerent year, which included nine acquisitions, are life- long learnings,” said Byju Raveendran, co-founder and chief executive of Byju’s, in a prepared statement Saturday.

“The core business has demonstrated good growth, underlining the potential of edtech in India, the fastest-growing major economy. I am also humbled by the lessons learnt in the post-pandemic world of readjustments. BYJU’S will continue on the path ol sustainable and profitable growth in the coming years.”

Prosus, which owns more than 9% of Byju’s and is one of its earlier backers, publicly slammed the Bengaluru-headquartered startup in July for not evolving sufficiently and disregarding the investor’s advice and recommendations despite repeated attempts. (Prosus also marked down Byju’s valuation to $5.1 billion.)

Deloitte said in its resignation letter in June that Byju’s hadn’t provided “any communication” on the resolution of the audit report for the financial year going as back as the financial year ending March 31, 2021, nor had it given the auditor an update on the status of readiness of the financial statements and the underlying books for the financial year ending March last year.

The startup, which spent about $2.5 billion acquiring a range of firms in 2020 and 2021, is also looking to sell many of those businesses to clear dues to its lenders. Peak XV Partners, Lightspeed India, Sofina, BlackRock, UBS, and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are among Byju’s backers.


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