As the Indian online edtech market diminishes due to the reopening of schools, universities, and tuition centers, BYJU’s Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran plans to focus his resources on worldwide operations, particularly in the United States.
Raveendran is expected to pass over India operations to Chief Operating Officer Mrinal Mohit, according to sources close to the situation.
BYJU’s, which was recently valued at nearly $22 billion, making it India’s most valuable start-up, declined to comment on the development, but reliable sources say an official confirmation about Raveendran taking a larger global role will come soon, as new designations for Raveendran and Mohit are being discussed.
Raveendran has already left India to meet with investors in the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
In March, BYJU’S announced a new cooperation with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, to build a new edtech firm and state-of-the-art research center in Doha.
The new company in Doha will promote research and development in order to develop cutting-edge learning solutions tailored to the needs of MENA students.
In a statement, Raveendran stated, “We are pleased to work with QIA in this next chapter of expansion, development, and establishing new ideas in learning in the MENA area.”
The ‘FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022’ has also announced BYJU’S as an official sponsor.
In March, the firm raised $800 million in a pre-IPO round, and in an unusual move, Raveendran financed a $400 million investment in the company with debt he acquired from numerous foreign banks, as the edtech behemoth prepared for an IPO (which has now been delayed owing to global macro-economic factors and economic slowdown).
As it expands abroad, the company is said to be in talks to fund another $1 billion.
As the Indian startup ecosystem experiences a financing winter, edtech businesses including BYJU’s WhiteHat Jr, Unacademy, Vedantu, and Lido Learning are at the vanguard of laying off employees in the name of “restructuring.”
With a recession on the horizon and financing running out, the issue is only going to get worse.
To date, edtech platforms in India have laid off over 3,000 people, while the broader startup industry has lost over 7,000 individuals.