A group of shareholders of education technology firm Byju’s, including tech investor Prosus, are seeking to oust the company’s founders and force a change of leadership as the once popular startup struggles to overcome a series of crises.
Byju’s, controlled by billionaire Byju Raveendran was one of India’s hottest startups, valued at $22 billion in 2022, but has more recently seen its auditor Deloitte and board members resign, and faced a U.S lawsuit disputing terms and payment of a loan.
Byju’s has laid off thousands of employees and seen its valuation nosedive in recent months.
“We are deeply concerned about the future stability of the company under its current leadership and with the current constitution of the Board,” the shareholders said in a statement.
The investors are requesting a meeting to resolve “outstanding governance, financial mismanagement and compliance issues; the reconstitution of the Board of Directors, so that it is no longer controlled by the founders … and a change in leadership of the company,” it added.
The statement was shared by Prosus, which has a roughly 9% stake in Byju’s, and said it had the backing of a “number of major investors”, without naming them. Others supporting the statement include Sofina and Peak XV, formerly known as Sequoia Capital India, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Last year, Deloitte resigned as auditor of Byju’s after the edtech company delayed financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2022. Deloitte said it did not receive necessary documents even after writing several letters to the board.
Board members representing Peak XV, Prosus and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative stepped down from Byju’s board last year.
Some of Byju’s investors say the company’s valuation has fallen to between $1 billion and $3 billion.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)