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Business News/ Companies / People/  Byju Ravindran's networth plunges to zero in Forbes Billionaire Index 2024
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Byju Ravindran's networth plunges to zero in Forbes Billionaire Index 2024

Byju Raveendran, the founder of India's edtech giant Byju's, has seen his net worth evaporate from a staggering ₹17,545 crore ($2.1 billion) to a mere zero, according to the latest Forbes Billionaire Index 2024.

Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer of Think and Learn Pvt., Premium
Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer of Think and Learn Pvt.,

Byju Raveendran, the founder of India's leading education technology company Byju's, has seen his wealth vanish, according to the latest Forbes Billionaire Index. Raveendran was previously listed with a net worth of 17,545 crore ($2.1 billion), but the 2024 Index shows him at zero. This dramatic fall reflects the ongoing challenges faced by Byju's, once a high-flying startup with a peak valuation of $22 billion.

Addressing Byju's fall from grace, Forbes noted, "Only four people from last year's list dropped off this time, including former edtech star Byju Raveendran, whose firm Byju's was enveloped in multiple crises and its valuation was marked down by BlackRock to $1 billion, a fraction of its peak $22 billion valuation in 2022," as per an NDTV report.

Founded in 2011, Byju's rapidly ascended to become India's most valuable startup, boasting a peak valuation of $22 billion in 2022. Raveendran's brainchild revolutionised the education sector with its innovative learning app, catering to students from primary school to MBA aspirants. However, recent financial disclosures and mounting controversies have dealt a severe blow to the company's fortunes.

Financial woes

The company's woes were laid bare when Byju's posted its long-delayed results for the fiscal year ending March 2022, revealing a staggering net loss exceeding $1 billion. This dismal financial performance led to BlackRock, a major investor, slashing its valuation of Byju's to a mere $1 billion, marking a precipitous decline from its peak valuation.

Raveendran has faced intense criticism for the company's declining fortunes. "Byju's shareholders, including Prosus NV and Peak XV Partners, last month voted to oust Mr Raveendran as CEO, escalating a battle over the fate of the once high-flying online tutoring startup that is fighting to remain in business," reports indicate," the report said. 

"Byju's shareholders, including Prosus NV and Peak XV Partners, last month voted to oust Mr Raveendran as CEO, escalating a battle over the fate of the once high-flying online tutoring startup that is fighting to remain in business," reports indicate," the report said.

Mounting challenges

Furthermore, Byju's foreign investment has come under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). “Before the lookout circular against its founder, the ED issued show-cause notices to Byju's parent firm Think & Learn over alleged violations worth over 9,362 crore under the Foreign Exchange Management Act," the NDTV report quoted sources as saying.

As Byju's grapples with mounting challenges, the stark contrast between Raveendran's current net worth and his former billionaire status serves as a sobering reminder of the volatile nature of the startup ecosystem. The company's efforts to regain its footing and restore investor confidence will be closely watched by the Indian business community and beyond.

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Published: 04 Apr 2024, 09:59 AM IST
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