Byju's Valuation Sinks to $1 Bn Amidst BlackRock's 95% Markdown

Once valued at $22B, Byju’s is in crisis as BlackRock slashes its worth to $1B, adding to existing challenges. Can the EdTech giant overcome these hurdles and reshape its future in the evolving edtech sector? Explore details in the full article.

Swati Dayal
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Byju's Fall

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In yet another setback for Byju’s, India's once-dominant EdTech giant, has witnessed its valuation plummet to just USD 1 billion. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has marked down the company's valuation by a staggering 95%, from USD 8.2 billion at the end of the March quarter in 2023 to a mere USD 1 billion. This is the third valuation markdown by BlackRock in 2023, indicative of the persistent challenges faced by the educational technology company.

In a regulatory filing made on January 5 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended October 2023, BlackRock has valued its shares at USD 209.57 apiece. It holds less than 1% stake in the firm. This would ascribe a valuation of around USD 1 billion to the struggling edtech company. Earlier BlackRock had valued it at USD 8.2 billion at the end of March quarter of 2023.

Continuous Valuation Erosion and Asset Sales

Byju’s, last valued at USD 22 billion in October 2022, has been grappling with a sharp decline in its operational scale. The company is actively exploring asset sales to alleviate its debt burden. This marks a stark contrast from its previous heights, raising questions about the sustainability of its business model and strategic decisions.

This is not all. The edtech has been facing a tough time for one and a half years. Let's take a closer look at all the challenges that have shaken the pillars of Byju’s.

Prosus Too Added To The Downward Spiral

Adding to Byju’s troubles, tech investor Prosus had In November 2023 downgraded its valuation for the third time in a year, plunging the company's worth to less than USD 3 billion. The downgrade represented an alarming 86% decline from the previous funding round valuation of USD 22 billion in October 2022.

Enforcement Directorate's Scrutiny and Financial Allegations

Byju’s is not only contending with valuation woes but is also facing scrutiny from the Enforcement Directorate (ED). In November 2023, the ED alleged multiple violations, including failure to submit crucial documents on time and realizing export proceeds, amounting to Rs 9,362 crore. Founder Byju Raveendran is held responsible for these violations, adding a layer of complexity to the company's predicament.

Despite the numerous challenges, Byju’s remained resilient. The company, responding to ED’s notice, clarified that the alleged FEMA violations are technical in nature and related to the delayed filing of Annual Performance Reports. Byju’s expressed confidence in resolving the issues and highlighted its commitment to adhering to all relevant regulations.

Investor Pressure and Board Exits

Investors, increasingly uneasy about the lack of transparency surrounding Byju’s financials and operations, have pressured founder and CEO Byju Raveendran for clarity. This pressure extends to audited FY23 financials, with investors calling for more transparency and communication. Board exits, including representatives from Prosus and other notable entities, further indicate challenges at the leadership level.

Legal Battles and Unsettled Dues with BCCI

Byju’s is embroiled in a legal battle with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over pending dues amounting to Rs. 158 crore. The case, filed on September 8, has been officially registered and is scheduled for a hearing on January 17. The dispute adds another layer of complexity to Byju’s already challenging situation, as it grapples with negative media coverage and perceptions affecting its actual performance.

According, cash-strapped Byju's sacked 2,500 of its staff in the second round in December 2025. 

Byju’s founder, Byju Raveendran, reportedly pledged his home to raise funds to pay employee salaries, showcasing the company's financial struggles amid pending lender repayments and delayed fundraising plans.

A Glimmer of Hope Amidst Turmoil

Amid the storm of challenges, Byju’s managed to resolve a longstanding issue with Davidson Kempner in November. Manipal Group chairman Ranjan Pai also bought out the debt investment linked to Byju's subsidiary Aakash in a Rs 1,400-crore deal. Byju’s submitted a proposal to lenders, outlining its plan to repay the USD 1.2 billion term loan B within the next six months, starting with an initial payment of USD 300 million.

Once celebrated as an EdTech giant, Byju’s now finds itself navigating a storm of valuation downgrades, legal disputes, and internal challenges. The company's ability to weather these storms will likely hinge on strategic decisions, transparent communication, and successful resolution of ongoing issues with stakeholders. As the EdTech landscape continues to evolve, Byju’s faces a critical juncture that will shape its future in the education technology sector.

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