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Asset manager BlackRock has once again reduced the valuation of its stake in Byju‘s, an Indian tech startup. The latest markdown has seen Byju’s implied value fall dramatically from $22B at the start of 2022 to a mere $1B.

  • Valuation Status: BlackRock’s new evaluation pegs Byju’s shares at roughly $209.6 each, down from a 2022 peak of $4,660. BlackRock owns under 1% of Byju’s, and hasn’t publicly commented on the reasons for this significant valuation adjustment.
  • Markdown: The markdown by BlackRock isn’t the first and it’s not the only investor to reassess Byju’s worth. Prosus, which owns about 9% of Byju’s, late last year valued the start-up at “sub $3 billion”. This marked-down valuation is a dramatic turn of events for Byju’s, which once stood as India’s most valuable startup at $22B.
  • Previous Standing: Byju was once lavished with valuations as high as $50B by top-tier investment banks. Byju’s has been backed by more than a dozen industry heavyweights, including Peak XV Partners, Lightspeed, UBS, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
  • Rise to Fame: The edtech firm gained popularity for its engaging teaching methods, such as explaining complex concepts with real-life objects like pizza and cakes. Over the past decade, Byju’s has raised over $5B in equity and debt.
  • Recent Setbacks: Byju’s was planning to go public in 2022 through a SPAC deal, targeting a valuation of up to $40B but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February sent markets tumbling, leading to Byju’s shelving its IPO plans.
  • Challenges Now: The company is struggling to raise capital, meet payroll commitments, and repay over a billion dollars in debt. Additionally, it failed to meet its revenue target for the financial year ending in March 2022, as disclosed in its delayed accounts.

Byju’s CFO Ajay Goel left the company in less than seven months, and three key board members exited, along with auditor Deloitte.

Prosus publicly criticized Byju’s in July for failing to evolve and ignoring investor advice.

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