Billionaire-Owned EdTech Firm Byju’s Faces Yet Another Crisis As Deloitte Resigns As Auditor.

Beleaguered edtech company Byju’s parent Think & Learn, which not long ago was the world’s most valuable edtech company valued at $22 billion, has plunged into yet another crisis.

The company’s auditor Deloitte Haskins & Sells resigned this week, citing inordinate delays in filing its financial results for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2022.

On the heels of that resignation, Byju’s announced that it has appointed BDO as its auditor for five years starting retrospectively from the fiscal year 2022.

There were also reports that three board members had resigned following the auditor’s announcement but Byju’s denied that calling it “Entirely speculative.”

As for the new auditor, Byju’s noted in a release that “BDO will cover the holding company-Think and Learn, its material subsidiaries such as Aakash Education Services Limited as well as the overall group consolidated results. This comprehensive audit coverage will provide a holistic view of Byju’s financial performance and ensure transparency across the organization.”

Deloitte said in the letter that it had sent emails regarding the audit for fiscal 2022 to the company’s billionaire founder Byju Raveendran in September, November and December 2022.

In June, Byju’s refused to make a $40 million interest payment and filed a lawsuit alleging that a group of investors was trying to extort money from the company.

Earlier in May, an agent for the lenders of the $1.2 billion loan made in 2021 for a five-year period filed a lawsuit in Delaware in the U.S. alleging that the company was “Hiding” $500 million.

Byju’s said the searches were part of a “Routine inquiry” and that it would “Work closely” with the authorities.

Calls to founder Byju Raveendran and his wife and cofounder Divya Gokulnath were not returned.

“Their model ceased to have relevance post-Covid,” says Ganesh Natarajan, chairman of digital consulting and investment company 5F World.

The company’s valuation was already marked down twice by minority investor BlackRock, which slashed the valuation to $11.5 billion in October and further to $8.4 billion in May. Byju Raveendran’s personal fortune is down to $1.3 billion from its peak of $2.9 billion in March 2022.

The Bangalore company had reported a 3% drop in revenue and a net loss of 45.6 billion rupees for the financial year ended March 31, 2021- even as its operating expenses more than doubled.

Byju’s-founded by former teacher Byju Raveendran in 2011-has a list of marquee investors including private equity giants like Tiger Global and Sequoia as well as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

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