Prosus has slashed the fair value of BYJU’S to $5.1 billion, the second markdown by the Netherlands-based technology investor in less than a year, as the edtech firm continues to firefight on a range of issues.
This comes a couple of days after Prosus’s representative Russel Deisenstock resigned from the BYJU’S board. Along with Deisenstock; GV Ravishankar, a managing director at Peak XV Partners; and Vivian Wu of Chan Zuckerberg also resigned from the company’s board.
With the board resignations, BYJU’s currently has only three members on its board and all three are founder Byju Raveendran’s family members.
Prosus, which has a 9.6% stake in the company, had valued its stake in BYJU’S at $578 million at the end of the September quarter last year, pegging its valuation at $5.97 billion. In the latest announcement, Prosus has slashed the value of its stake to $493 million.
Since Sept 2022, Prosus began classifying BYJU’S as a non-controlling investment rather than an associate as its shareholding fell below 10%.
Earlier this year, BlackRock also marked down its valuation in BYJU’S to $11.15 billion. The company had earned a $22-billion valuation in March 2022 when it raised $800 million in a round led by Raveendran.
In a webinar with DealStreetAsia in April, Raveendran said, “We are not worried about valuation as there is no science to valuations and we are not looking to sell… there is no down round happening in our upcoming funding round.”
With board members resigning, Deloitte severing ties as the statutory auditor, and a battle with its lenders to repay the $1.2-billion Term B loan, the last couple of weeks have been especially tough for the company.