Edtech platform BYJU's seems to be struggling to close a funding round of $800 million (around Rs 6,300 crore) as a global technology rout impacts valuations. About $250 million of the targeted amount from investors, including Sumeru Ventures and Oxshott, hasn't been transferred because of “macroeconomic reasons,” a company spokeswoman said.
On Monday, July 11, the edtech major said that it has received funds from 11 out of 13 investors in a Rs 3,600 crore funding round which started in June last year. The New York-based Oxshott, in September 2021, invested Rs 1,200 crore as part of the Series F round at Rs 285,072 per share, which is yet to arrive. "Additionally, Oxshott wasn't leading the round. In fact, they were one of the last investors to come in for that round. Out of the total Rs 3,600 crore, Rs 2,400 crore has already come in," a company spokesperson told IANS.
Other investors in the round were Edelweiss (Rs 344.9 crore), IIFL (Rs 110 crore), Verition Multi-Strategy Master Fund (Rs 147 crore), and XN Exponent Holdings (Rs 150 crore). The Morning Context first reported that "money from Oxshott Capital Partners or related entities for an investment has not reached the company". Oxshott Venture Fund X LLC and DRD Holdings SARL are both investment vehicles of Oxshott Capital.
"It is common industry practice for investment funds to establish separate investment vehicles for compliance/internal structuring purposes to deploy investments. In the current case, the investor has requested that their investment be deployed through DRD Holdings SARL (instead of Oxshott Venture Fund X LLC)," BYJU's said in a statement.
The fresh development came after another report recently claimed that some money in the Rs 6,300 crore private equity investment that BYJU's announced early this year has also not arrived.
In March, BYJU'S had announced to raise about Rs 6,300 crore (around $800 million) from Sumeru Ventures, Vitruvian Partners, and BlackRock. Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, was also part of the funding round and made a personal investment of $400 million.
According to reports, the money from Sumeru Ventures "hasn't come in and questions are being raised about the fund's antecedents". However, BYJU'S said most of the funds have been received and the rest were on track.
The company said that "its fundraising efforts are on track and the majority of the $800 million has been already received. The balance is also expected soon," a company spokesperson told IANS.
Meanwhile, the edtech giant said recently it has closed the nearly $1 billion acquisition of offline test preparatory services provider Aakash. The company, in a statement last week, said that its payments to Aakash are "closed" and the "audited financial results are going to be announced in the next 10 days".
BYJU'S has also been in the news for laying off employees and disgruntled parents complaining about poor quality of learning material and sales pitches by agents. Late last month, BYJU's announced to cut nearly 600 jobs -- 300 employees at its Toppr learning platform and another 300 at coding platform WhiteHat Jr.
"In order to reduce redundancies across our organisation after multiple acquisitions, we had to let go of nearly one per cent of our 50,000+ strong workforce," said a company spokesperson.
BYJU'S also lost a case in a consumer court, where a Bengaluru man sued the company for providing low-quality tablets and study material to his son and daughter who were promised Samsung tablets worth Rs 25,000. Further, the edtech major also backed out of its promise to convert the tuition fee of Rs 99,000 into EMIs.
When the company did not pay heed to his demand of cancelling the subscription and refunding, he filed a case and won a refund of the fee of Rs 99,000 and a compensation of Rs 30,000, according to reports.