June 19, 2024

Byju’s to Slash $22 Billion Valuation by 90% to Raise Fresh Funds

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Byju’s, once counted among the world’s most valuable startups, is seeking to raise funds at a discount of more than 90% from its previous round to alleviate its financial problems.

The beleaguered Indian education provider is asking more than $100 million from existing investors through a fresh issuance of shares slated for next month, at a price that values the firm at less than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said. That’s down from $22 billion at its previous round in late 2022.

Eponymous founder Byju Raveendran will participate in the share sale to retain his stake in the company, the people said, asking not to be named as the information isn’t public. The company, which has been battling a cash crunch for several months, will use the proceeds from the share sale slated for next month to pay off vendors and stabilize the business, they said.

Raveendran has been pulling all stops in his fight to keep the company afloat and to ease its financial pressures. The firm is in the process of selling its US-based kids’ digital reading platform for about $400 million and is also locked in a legal battle with creditors over a missed interest payment on a $1.2 billion term loan.

READ: Byju’s Founder Pledges Homes to Raise Funds for Staff Salaries

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment.

The company is focusing on rebuilding its core business and will double down on recent attempts to jump on to the next big bandwagon in education: generative artificial intelligence for so-called hyper-personalized learning, after the share sale, the people said.

Backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, General Atlantic and Prosus NV, Byju’s — formally known as Think & Learn Pvt — has raised billions of dollars to finance a global acquisition spree before it ran into a worldwide tech funding downturn. Several shareholders in the company are expected to participate in the share sale, the people said.

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