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Byju Raveendran urged by shareholders to resign

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Major stakeholders in Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of edtech startup Byju’s, demand a management shakeup, seeking the removal of co-founder and CEO Byju Raveendran.

Major investors in BYJU’s have jointly requested an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to address concerns about corporate governance, mismanagement, and compliance, emphasizing the need for a leadership change and a board reconstitution.

After the company neglected an EGM requisition notice in July and December, the investor group issued another notice, stating that it was in the best interest of the company and its shareholders.

Investors such as Prosus, General Atlantic, Peak XV, Sofina, Chan Zuckerberg, Owl, and Sands, who collectively hold almost 30% of the edtech company’s shares, have signed the EGM notice.

The investors’ request for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) comes after their earlier notices in July and December 2023 were ignored by the T&L Board. Resolutions for the EGM include addressing governance, financial mismanagement, and compliance issues, reconstituting the Board, and changing the company’s leadership.

For the first time, BYJU’s investors have collectively requested a management change, seeking the removal of Byju Raveendran from the board and his day-to-day management role. Earlier, in June 2023, representatives of key investors resigned from the board due to differences with the founders.

The present board of directors at BYJU’s parent T&L, including Byju Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and his brother Riju Raveendran, faces an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) notice.

Investors highlight persistent concerns regarding corporate governance, mismanagement, and compliance, citing ongoing efforts initiated after directors nominated by Prosus and other shareholders resigned in June 2023.

“We appreciate the work done by the independent advisory council, including Rajnish Kumar and Mohandas Pai, in tackling certain challenges in T&L. However, we have serious concerns about the Company’s future stability with its current leadership and Board composition,” stated the investors.

The investors emphasized, “We have strong faith in India and the positive impact educational technology can have on teaching and learning. We remain committed to BYJU’s and, as shareholders, will work with others and government authorities to protect the Company’s long-term interests and those of its stakeholders.”

Just days after BYJU’s notified investors about a $200 million rights issue at a post-money valuation of $225 million (a 99% discount from its peak valuation of $22 billion), it’s uncertain if investors will opt-in. If not, this could potentially alter the shareholding pattern and ownership structure of the edtech company.

You might also be interested in-BYJU’S FY22 outcomes: While the core business expands, increasing losses and debt initiate a race against time for survival

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