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Byju Raveendran raising funds to buy back up to 15% in edtech firm: report – Economic Times

Byju Raveendran, founder of edtech giant Byju’s, is looking to raise his stake in the firm to as much as 40%, news agency Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Raveendran is on the lookout for funds to finance the buyback, for an estimated 15% stake, by using the shares as collateral.

According to the report, discussions with shareholders and financiers are still in the early stages and may not necessarily lead to a deal.

Currently, Raveendran owns about 25% of the edtech startup.

Byju’s was last valued at $22 billion after a funding round in October 2022.

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Currently, Raveendran has about a 25% stake in the edtech startup along with other investors such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Blackrock Inc. and Silver Lake.
Byju’s, Indian highest-valued startup,
had a torrid 2022 thanks to a series of controversies over its financials, unpaid loans, governance and layoffs, among other things.

Last September, after a delay of nearly 18 months, Byju’s released its audited results for the financial year ended March 2021 in September 2022. The company
readjusted its revenue from operations to Rs 2,280 crore even as it incurred massive losses of Rs 4,588 crore, up from just Rs 262 crore in the previous fiscal.

This was a significant drop of 48% from projected revenue, which Raveendran attributed to the changes in the business model due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Byju’s raised $800 million at $22 billion valuation

As part of a pre-IPO round, Byju’s raised $800 million in fresh funding in May. Founder Byju Raveendran invested $400 million in his personal capacity in the round.

In October, Byju’s closed a financing round of $250 million from existing investors, including Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital also put money into India’s highest-valued startup.

A few days later, Byju’s took a Rs 300 crore loan from its subsidiary, Aakash Educational Services.

In December, the
startup appointed an adviser to restructure a $1.2 billion loan. A group of creditors to Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, has asked the company to immediately repay part of a $1.2 billion loan they recently bought into as they renegotiate terms of the debt.

It also deferred the $1 billion listing plans of Aakash Educational Services.

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