Indian lawmaker calls for investigation into edtech giant Byju’s finances

Karti Chidambaram, an Indian lawmaker, has called for an investigation into the finances of Byju’s, the country’s most valuable startup, for not submitting its statements for the financial year that ended in March 2021, which he alleged violates a local law and other “loopholes.”

Chidambaram, a member of Parliament for Sivaganga in the Lok Sabha, on Wednesday wrote to the country’s fraud regulator, requesting they open an investigation into the finances of Byju’s, which as he pointed has yet to secure $250 million capital from its most recent funding round unveiled in March, has fired hundreds of employees and is in parallel looking to acquire an American firm at a valuation of over $2 billion.

Chidambaram, who has previously criticized instant delivery startups of putting unrealistic pressure on delivery personnel, said Byju’s has missed the legal deadline to submit its financial statements for FY 2020-21.

The lawmaker’s public remark on Byju’s is the latest headache for the startup that has drawn government’s attention in recent weeks and whose way of selling online learning courses to students have long been the subject of criticism.

Byju’s, valued at over $22 billion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Further reading: 
Government airs concerns over complaints against edtech companies (Economic Times)
Oxshott’s fake investment in Byju’s and a missing Rs 1,200 crore (The Morning Context)
The fake investment that connects Byju’s and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (The Morning Context)
Hard sells and ‘toxic’ targets: How Indian edtech giant Byju’s fuels its meteoric rise (Rest of World)