Edtech major Byju’s on Tuesday said its promoters have re-invested the entire amount raised by them through secondary sale of shares in the company.
According to private market intelligence firm PrivateCircle Research, Byju’s promoters — Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath and Riju Ravindran — have together sold shares worth around $408.53 million in 40 secondary transactions since 2015.
“The promoters of BYJU’S have reinvested the entire amounts raised from secondary sales into the business for purposes of scaling it over the years,” Byju’s said in a statement.
The statement came in the backdrop of the report of the intelligence firm.
PrivateCircle said Mr Raveendran holds 15.90 per cent, whereas Divya Gokulnath and Riju Ravindran have 3.32 per cent and 1.99 per cent, respectively.
“Promoters’ shareholding in the company has been gradually dropping since 2016. First significant drop was between 2015-2016, when the promoters’ stake dipped from 71.6 per cent to 54.7 per cent and later came down to 34.7 per cent in 2019 and 21.2 per cent in 2023,” the report said.
The private market intelligence platform said that it has analysed various public data sources to arrive at the findings and in two instances where the secondary share price was not available, PrivateCircle has used the closest available primary share price.
“Since 2015, Byju Raveendran individually sold 29,306 shares worth USD 3.28 million, whereas his wife and co-founder Divya Gokulnath sold 64,565 shares worth USD 29.40 million, and brother Riju Ravindran sold 337,911 shares worth USD 375.83 million.
“Over the years, multiple investors participated in BYJU’S secondary transactions including the likes of Silver Lake Partners, Blackrock, T Rowe Price, Chan Zuckerberg, Owl Ventures, Naspers, Times Internet, Lightspeed Ventures, Proxima Beta, Naspers Ventures, General Atlantic, and Alkeon,” it said.
PrivateCircle Research said the secondary deals at Byju’s were often executed at a discounted valuation as compared to the company’s primary valuation at that time.
“For instance, an average of 53 per cent discount was observed in secondary sales during its Series F round. During this round, BYJU’S promoters sold their shares in the price range of Rs 1,12,126 – Rs 1,64,000 per share and the Series F primary share price was in the range Rs 2,13,042 – Rs 2,37,336,” the report said.
According to the report, Mr Raveendran purchased a total of 31,960 shares since 2012 from multiple sellers, including Ravindran Kunnaruvath (Byju Raveendran’s father), Arunangshu Bhakta (BYJU’s employee), Brijesh Maheshbhai Patel (BYJU’s employee), Smit Rajanikant Patel (BYJU’s employee), Unique Jain (BYJU’s employee), and Pravin Prakash (BYJU’s employee).
Divya Gokulnath purchased a total 4,666 shares from Navin Balan and Priya Mohan (founders of Vidyartha).
Byju’s acquired Vidhyartha in 2017.
“Riju Ravindran also purchased 100 shares from Mrinal Mohit (BYJU’S COO). However, we could not ascertain the value of these secondary purchases,” the report said.
Mr Raveendran, during a call with investors, highlighted his personal investments in the company, including $400 million in the parent company, $250 million for the Aakash acquisition, and an additional $250 million through pledged secondary shares for the last funding round.
In a recent town hall with employees, Mr Raveendran said that promoters continue to be the largest investor in the company.
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