Byju Raveendran, co-founder and chief executive officer of Byju's, has become the world's second-richest entrepreneur from the education sector, according to Hurun Global Rich List 2023.
Byju Raveendran and his family are ranked 994th on the global list of Indian billionaires, having risen 1,005 positions in the past three years and amassing a fortune of $3.3 billion, according to the report.
Byju's valuation has more than tripled in the last three years, from around $8 billion in February 2022 to $22 billion as of October last year, making the startup the world's most-valued privately held edtech company.
However, the company has recently been plagued by controversies, including accounting irregularities, alleged misselling of courses, and mass layoffs. In October of last year, Byju's raised its first-ever flat round at a $22 billion valuation.
The company's creditors were seeking faster repayment of part of the Term Loan B (TLB), which it raised in 2021, as the edtech giant had breached certain terms, including a September deadline for filing its results for the year ended March 31, 2022. In TLB, borrowers aren't required to service the principal upfront. They can pay a large amount at the end of the loan period, unlike a regular loan where they pay part of the interest plus principal throughout the tenure.
The creditors also renegotiated terms with Byju’s, with which the company agreed, according to a Bloomberg report. The renegotiated terms included providing monthly business updates, hiring a CFO, and increasing the interest rate on the loan, the report said. According to another media report, Byju's has also offered to pay higher interest on the loan.
Founded in 2011 by teacher-turned-entrepreneur Raveendran, Byju's has raised more than $5 billion in equity and debt funding to date from 121 institutional and individual investors, according to data available on Tracxn. In March last year, it raised a $800 million round at $22 billion valuation, making it India's most-valued startup and the most-valued edtech in the world. Raveendran holds a little under 20 percent stake in the company.