BlackRock slashes Byju’s valuation by 95% to $1 billion


MUMBAI: US-based asset manager BlackRock which holds a minority stake in troubled edtech startup Byju’s has slashed the company’s valuation to $1 billion as of October 2023. This is a 95% drop from its peak valuation of $22 billion at which the startup had raised $250 million in funding from investors in October 2022. The disclosure was made as part of recent filings made by the US firm’s affiliate BlackRock Global Allocation Fund with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.Last year, BlackRock had cut the startup’s valuation to $8.4 billion.
The filings showed that BlackRock valued the shares of Byju’s at about $209.6 apiece, down from the peak of $4,660 in 2022, effectively translating into a valuation of $1 billion. The development adds to the spate of valuation markdowns that Byju’s has seen over the past several months. In November last year, the Bengaluru-based startup’s other investor Prosus had valued it at under $3 billion. Once a celebrated startup, investors have collectively put in more than $5 billion into Byju’s.
The markdowns come at a time when the company is battling a series of crises including scrutiny of authorities, liquidity crunch, senior level exits and long drawn negotiations with its lenders over the repayment of $1.2 billion term loan B. Financials for FY22 filed by the firm revealed that its core business remained steep in losses—its EBITDA losses stood at Rs 2,253 crore during the year. Profitability is a far cry for the struggling business and it has fired more than 5,000 employees since October 2022. Trouble for Byju’s mounted when three of its board members and ex-auditor Deloitte resigned in June last year. Startup industry executives and analysts are of the view that glaring lapses at what once used to be India’s highest valued privately held startup have made investors cautious of the broader edtech space and nudged them to tighten scrutiny of corporate governance practices at startups.
Byju’s is yet to file its FY23 results and is trying to sell some of its assets like Epic and Great Learning to clear its term loan.

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