Byju's co-founder Divya Gokulnath on Tuesday compared the edtech major's financial results for 2020-21 to recently released Bollywood movie Brahmastra. "The second blockbuster release of this year, after Brahmastra, was Byju's financial results. I have not seen Brahmastra yet, but I do happen to know Byju's results. Because, as its director, I was involved in its making," Gokulnath wrote in a LinkedIn post.
"Whether or not you have seen the Bollywood blockbuster, I am sure you would have 'seen' our results. But have you seen the complete picture? Because just like for movie reviews, sensationalism results in more clicks than truth in this age of 280-character reading attention spans," the Byju's co-founder said.
Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, the parent company of the edtech giant, reported a loss of ₹4,588.75 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2021 compared with ₹262 crore in the previous fiscal. The company's revenue for the fiscal year 2020-21 stood at ₹2,428 crore, as compared to ₹2,381 crore during the previous fiscal year.
Byju's had earlier claimed that the rationalised growth between FY21 and FY20 is a result of the changes made in the way the company recognises its revenue.
"I have never had any problems with the stories written about us. In fact, the content of most of the report on our results is positive. But some of the headlines are another matter. It's easy for forget that we are 18 months post FY21, and that Byju's has grown more than 4 times in this span. Or that our 'widening losses' in FY21 have been cut to half in FY22," Gokulnath said.
India's most valued startup went on a fundraising spree as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020. It then acquired WhiteHat Jr. for $300 million. In 2021, it bought entrance coaching preparation company Aakash Educational Services in a $1 billion deal. The decacorn also purchased e-learning and test prep startup Toppr and professional skilling platform Great Learning last year.
Last week, RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka questioned the company's valuation in a tweet.
The decacorn had earlier laid off about 500 employees working with group companies WhiteHat Jr and Toppr. The Bengaluru-based firm has been in the spotlight of having association with investors like Sumeru Ventures and Oxshott Capital Partners who are yet to infuse some $250 million into the company committed months back.
In July, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram wrote to the government's serious fraud probe agency seeking an investigation into the finances of the edtech unicorn. In a letter to the director of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Chidambaram had raised concerns over three instances related to Byju's, including two funding rounds and delay in furnishing financial statements for the financial year 2020-21.