Byju’s authorizes $230 million payment to Blackstone for $1 billion deal with Aakash

Byju’s has settled all its debts to Blackstone by paying the $234 million it owed the global investment giant for the $1 billion acquisition of Aakash, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, responding to one of the criticisms leveled at the Indian edtech giant in recent months.

The Bengaluru-based startup, valued at $22 billion, had postponed some payments for the roughly $1 billion acquisition of the physical-education channel last year, citing regulatory clearance. Blackstone, which is also an investor in Byju’s, owned around 38% of Aakash before the acquisition.

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of the eponymous edtech startup, told TechCrunch earlier this month in an interview that Byju’s and Blackstone have mutually decided to process payments later. The Indian startup settled the debt this week, the source said, requesting anonymity as the details are private.

Blackstone and Byju’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

The Indian startup, which offers online and offline learning services for kindergarten students to those preparing for college entrance exams, has spent more than $2.5 billion over the past two years to acquire dozens of companies, including US-based Epic reading platform, Tynker coding suite, India-based Great Learning, Austria-based GradeUp, Topper and GeoGebra.

It has also made an offer to acquire publicly traded edtech company 2U, Raveendran confirmed in the earlier interview.

Earlier this month, the Indian startup unveiled its financial accounts for the year ending March 2021, after a prolonged delay. Byju’s said it posted revenue of $305.6 million and increased its losses to $577.4 million in the fiscal year that ended in March 2021 the following year.

The startup, which counts Blackrock, Tiger Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India among its backers, said it generated $1.258 billion in gross revenue (unaudited) in the past fiscal year. is completed in March of this year. Between April and July, the startup recorded revenue of $570 million, he said.

Byju’s is looking to go public next year. Raveendran said in the previous interview that Byju’s is closely monitoring macroeconomic market conditions and will file for an IPO in nine to 12 months. “I don’t think the markets are going to turn this year,” he said.

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