• July 19, 2024

Prosus marks down Byju’s stake, valuing ed-tech firm at less than $3 billion

Prosus, the Dutch-listed arm of South African technology investor Naspers, has marked down the value of its stake in Byju’s, resulting in a company valuation of less than $3 billion.

This marks the second time in a year that the tech investor has downgraded Byju’s valuation. In March, Prosus valued Byju’s at $5.1 billion. It holds nearly 10 per cent stake in the troubled ed-tech firm.

Byju’s was last officially valued at over $22 billion in October 2022, when it completed a $250 million funding round.

Earlier in July, Prosus’ representative on Byju’s board, Russell Dreisenstock, stepped down from the ed-tech company, along with Dreisenstock, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Vivian Wu, and Peak XV Partners’ (Sequoia Capital India’s) GV Ravishankar citing poor reporting and governance structures as reasons behind the exit.

The series of board exits came at a time when the company had come under fire for a host of issues, including delayed financial results, and the resignation of its auditor, Deloitte.

This comes at a time when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has dragged the embattled ed-tech to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The case pertains to the dispute around the sponsorship rights of the Indian cricket team’s jerseys.

Meanwhile, Byju’s is facing fresh trouble as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) confirmed sending a show cause notice to the ed-tech company Think and Learn Private Limited and Byju Raveendran in the FEMA violation case.

The Bengaluru-based company has laid off thousands of employees and shifted the date of full and final payment from September to November.

Earlier this month, Manipal Group chairman Ranjan Pai bought out the debt investment by the US Hedge Fund David Kempner, in a ₹1,400-crore deal.

It has also submitted a proposal to its lenders to fully repay its $1.2 billion term loan B in the next six months. Byju’s aims to achieve this by making an initial payment of $300 million within the next three months.

As part of its efforts to secure the necessary funds for loan repayment, the company has put upskilling platform Great Learning and book reading platform Epic, up for sale, which would yield the company about $1 billion.

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