Valuation cut by 99%

Byju's takes the only funding it can get

Happy Wednesday. Here’s what we’ve got today…

  • A look at Byju’s desperate search for cash

  • The deal sheet, plus an update on financing for secondary transactions

“My head is bloody, but unbowed,” wrote William Ernest Henley in his 1888 work Invictus.

A valued contribution to Victorian stoicism, inspired by the unexpected salvation of Henley’s remaining leg in the wake of tuberculosis complications. It is not, however, a piece one hopes to see quoted in an investor update. Unfortunately for those with stakes in Byju’s, founder Byju Raveendran felt its inclusion was warranted in his letter to shareholders this week.

An Indian edtech that was once the country’s most valuable startup, Byju’s is now hoping to raise $200 million from existing investors at a 99 percent discount to its most recent valuation.

Launched Monday, the round is structured as a rights issue, allowing all existing investors the option to buy additional shares should they choose. Management has characterized the move as “essential to prevent any further value impairment,” though the company’s post-money valuation is expected to fall somewhere below $225 million.

Byju’s was most recently valued at $22 billion in 2022, with more than $7 billion raised in equity and debt financing from firms including SoftBank, UBS Group, Silver Lake, and General Atlantic.

Even that mark was far from the company’s once lofty expectations. A year earlier, Byju’s came close to a $4 billion SPAC deal with Churchill Capital that would have valued the business at $48 billion. It had also previously held SPAC discussions with MSD Acquisition Corp. and Altimeter Capital Management.


“We have made immense personal sacrifices for the sake of the company. We have spent our lives building this company and are fervent believers in its mission,” Raveendran told shareholders this week in preparation for the next phase of what has become a prolonged period of turmoil for the business.

Founded in 2011, rapid domestic growth caught the attention of international investors, who jumped at the chance to fund ambitions for expansion into a global edtech platform. Byju’s went on to spend $2.5 billion over more than a dozen acquisitions in 2021 and 2022.

In relatively short order, that global expansion turned to overextension. By the end of Byju’s shopping spree, breakneck user growth had cooled in the new return-to-school environment, and aggressive cash burn became more apparent after delayed fiscal year 2021 results showed a $560 million loss.

By early last year, Byju’s was in desperate need of cash to service both its burn and growing debt burden; principally a $1.2 billion term loan.

The company came close to a $1 billion equity raise, but negotiations fell apart after auditor Deloitte and three of the company’s board members quit, blaming their departure on the ongoing financial reporting shortfalls.

Even so, Byju’s secured a partial reprieve through $250 million in debt financing led by Davidson Kempner. That, too, failed to stick — after receiving less than half of the funding, Byju’s defaulted on its previous term loan, thereby breaching the new agreement and forcing premature repayment in full.

In the absence of institutional capital, founder Raveendran says the company has burned through a cumulative $1.1 billion of his personal cash provided to the business over the last 18 months.

Next Steps

Prior to this week’s stop-gap raise, a majority group of Byju’s lenders filed an insolvency petition in Bengaluru’s National Company Law Tribunal. The filing has not yet been made public, though Byju’s labeled the claim "premature and baseless.”

A company spokesperson added, "As we have stated before, the validity of lenders' actions, including acceleration of the term loan, is pending and under challenge in several proceedings, including before the New York Supreme Court.”

Alongside the various financing workstreams, Byju’s is working to unlock more capital through divestitures of its prior acquisitions.

Its first sale may be California-based digital reading platform Epic! Creations, acquired for $500 million in 2021. Reuters reported late last year that Joffre Capital, a private equity firm launched by former Baidu and Warburg Pincus leadership, was nearing a $400 million deal for the asset. Language learning platform Duolingo was also rumored to have participated in the Moelis-led process.

In November, a legal advisor close to the matter told the Financial Times that he expected “Byju’s to drive a lot of M&A in the coming months.” For equityholders, it looks like that may be too little, too late.


Byron Allen submitted a $14.3 billion bid for Paramount Global.

David Rubenstein acquired the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball franchise from the Angelos family for around $1.7 billion.

Strategic Sports Group, in partnership with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF, is nearing a deal to acquire a minority stake in the PGA Tour at a $3 billion valuation.

Health Care Service Corp. has agreed to acquire Cigna's Medicare Advantage, supplemental benefits, and Medicare Part D plans, along with CareAllies, for $3.3 billion.

Advent International is preparing to sell Evri, a UK-based clinical trial technology company that could be worth around £2 billion.

Schroders Greencoat has agreed to acquire a portfolio of 53 solar farms in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland from Foresight Group for £700 million.

SMBC Aviation Capital and CDPQ have agreed to form a joint venture called Maple Aircraft, a new aircraft leasing platform, in a $1.5 billion deal.

Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Polycorp, an Ontario-based manufacturer of engineered elastomer solutions.

Summit Partners acquired CollisionRight, an auto repair services provider, from CenterOak Partners.

Fresh Vine Wine has agreed to merge with Notes Live, a live entertainment company, for $350 million.

Forest River Bus, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, acquired Collins Bus, a manufacturer of Type A school buses, from REV Group (NYSE: REVG) for $303 million.

Exponent is in advanced talks to acquire Chanelle Pharma, an Irish pharmaceutical company, for more than €300 million.

Symphony Technology Group has agreed to acquire MediaValet, a cloud-native digital asset management platform, for C$80 million.

Databricks has agreed to acquire Einblick, a data visualization and analytics company.

North Castle Partners and Stonehenge Capital are preparing to sell Turnbridge, a provider of addiction treatment services, per Axios.

Three Hills invested in Hispatec, a provider of agricultural technology solutions.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice acquired a minority stake in Foundation Building Materials from American Securities.

MidOcean Partners invested in Compliance Risk Concepts, a provider of compliance risk management services.

Rip-It, a portfolio company of Gauge Capital, has acquired Tachikara, a manufacturer of sports equipment.

Walter Global Asset Management acquired a minority stake in Madryn Asset Management.

A+E Networks, owned by Disney and Hearst, has acquired a 50 percent stake in Free Food Studios, Rachel Ray's production business.

Enstar Group is considering a sale of its stake in Monument Re, a Bermuda-based reinsurer.

Ramp acquired Venue, a procurement platform backed by Sequoia Capital, Exponent Founders Capital, and Basecase Capital.

Tectonic Therapeutics is going public via a reverse merger with Avrobio (Nasdaq: AVRO), which included $130.7 million in new funding from TAS Partners, 5AM Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Polaris Partners, Farallon Capital Management, Vida Ventures, and PagsGroup.

TotalEnergies has acquired a 50 percent stake in SapuraOMV, a Malaysian oil and gas company, for $903 million.

United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) is exploring strategic options for Coyote, a transportation and logistics company it acquired for $1.8 billion in 2015.


Aadhar Housing Finance, an Indian home mortgage provider backed by Blackstone, is planning to raise up to $650 million in an IPO at a $3 billion valuation.


Tech, Vertical SaaS, & Misc. Enterprise, a provider of enterprise conversational AI systems, raised $150 million in new funding. FTV Capital led, with participation from Nvidia, Vistara Growth, Sweetwater PE, NextEquity, Nicola, and Beedie.

Rebellions, a Seoul-based startup developing AI chips, raised $124 million in Series B funding. KT Corp. led, with participation from Temasek, Koreyla Capital, and DGDV.

Codeium, a developer of AI-driven developer tools, raised $65 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins led, with participation from Greenoaks and General Catalyst., a restaurant performance and marketing software, raised $33 million in Series B funding at a $200 million valuation. Redpoint Ventures and Altman Capital co-led, with participation from Horsley Bridge, Activant Capital, Transpose Platform Management, and SaaStr Fund.

Incognia, a provider of location identity solutions, raised $31 million in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from FJ Labs, Valor Capital, Prosus, and Point72., an AI startup focused on open-source intelligent agent software, raised $30.5 million in new funding co-led by Mayfield and Benchmark.

Benepass, an employee benefits management startup, raised $20 million in new funding co-led by Portage and Clocktower Technology Ventures, with participation from Workday Ventures and insiders Threshold Ventures and Gradient Ventures.

Aim Security, an Israeli generative AI cybersecurity startup, raised $10 million in seed funding led by YL Ventures., a provider of AI-focused GPU solutions, raised $4 million in seed funding. Cherubic Ventures led, with participation from Maple VC and Fusion Fund.

Airfocus, a developer of an end-to-end product management platform, raised $7.5 million in new funding led by Newion, with participation from XAnge, Nauta, Riverside Acceleration Capital, and Picea Capital.

p0, developer of a cybersecurity testing platform, raised $6.5 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Alchemy Ventures.

Coxwave, a developer of an AI-native analytics infrastructure, raised $3.5 million from KB Investment, Danal, and Seoul Techno Holdings.

Wondercraft, a developer of AI-powered audio content creation software, raised $3 million in new led by Will Ventures led, with participation from Y Combinator and ElevenLabs.


Portal, a provider of bitcoin interoperability solutions, raised $34 million in seed funding. Coinbase Ventures led, with participation from Arrington Capital, OKX Ventures, and Gate.

LoanStar, a provider of embedded lending platforms for financial institutions, raised $28 million from Sageview Capital, Launch Credit Union, TruMark Financial Credit Union, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and Monarch Strategic Advisors.

MIC Global, a micro-insurance provider, raised $6 million in seed funding led by Launchpad Capital, with participation from Greenlight Re Innovations, Ironsides Partners, and existing backers.

BBO Exchange, a decentralized lending platform, raised $2.7 million in pre-seed funding. Hashed and Arrington Capital co-led, with participation from Binance Labs, ConsenSys, CMS Holdings, Manifold Trading, Mask Network, and Flow Traders, among others.

Consumer & Media

Plex, a free streaming media service, raised $40 million in new funding from existing backers Intercap and Kleiner Perkins.

Loric Games, a game studio formed by former Mythic Entertainment execs, raised $4 million in a round led by 1AM Gaming, with participation from Hiro Capital.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Cour Pharmaceuticals, a biotech developing nanoparticle-based autoimmune therapies, raised $105 million in Series A funding. Lumira Ventures and Alpha Wave co-led, with participation from Pfizer, Roche Venture Fund, Bristol Myers Squibb, Angelini Ventures, and the JDRF T1D Fund.

Accompany Health, a hybrid care provider for low-income patients, raised $56 million in Series A funding led by Venrock, IVP, and ARCH Venture Partners, with participation from Granite Capital Management and Evidenced.

Aqemia, a drug discovery platform leveraging AI and deep physics, raised €30 million in Series A extension funding led by Wendel Growth, with participation from Bpifrance, Eurazeo, and Elaia.

Vital Interaction, a provider of patient communication and engagement solutions, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Next Coast Ventures led, with participation from Michael Dearing and Walter Kortschak.

Wisedocs, a medical records AI platform, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Information Venture Partners, with participation from Thomson Reuters Ventures and ManchesterStory.

Industrials, Greentech, & Other

Zum, a school bus operator developing AI greentech for its fleet, raised $140 million in Series E funding at a $1.3 billion post-money valuation led by GIC, with participation from Sequoia and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Inari Agriculture, a biotech developing gene-edited seeds, raised an additional $103 million from Hanwha Impact, Rivas Capital, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, at a valuation of $1.65 billion.

BluSmart, an Indian electric mobility company, raised $25 million from ResponsAbility.

Tau Group, an Italy-based developer of insulated electric motor wiring, raised an €11 million Series B extension. CDP Venture Capital and Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund co-led.

Haven Energy, a climate tech focused on home energy storage solutions, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Giant Ventures led, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, Raven One Ventures, Comcast Ventures, LifeX, TO VC, and Habitat Partners.


• Per The Information, several Tiger Global Management employees focused on the firm’s early-stage fundraising efforts have taken buyout offers and departed.

KSL Capital Partners has closed a more than $3 billion single-asset continuation fund for mountain hospitality company Alterra, whose properties include Big Bear, Steamboat, and Sugarbush.

The Jordan Co. (TJC) raised $6.85 billion for its sixth buyout fund.

Charlesbank Capital Partners raised $1.5 billion for a new credit opportunities fund.

PPM America raised $660 million for its latest co-investment fund.

The New York State Teachers' Retirement System has committed $430 million across funds managed by Hahn & Co., A&M Capital, and Cortec Group.

Uncorrelated Ventures raised $315 million for its latest fund.

Giant Ventures raised $100 million for a new early-stage fund, plus a $150 million climate-focused growth fund.

Future Energy Ventures has raised €110 million out of a €250 million target for a new energy transition fund in partnership with E.ON and the European Investment Fund.

Virescent Ventures is targeting A$200 million for its second climate-focused fund.

Ubiquity Ventures raised a new $75 million fund.

Alantra is expanding its European private debt platform with the backing of Spanish family office Ion Ion.


1. Financing secondary fund acquisitions.

• Secondary funds are levering up; an update on financing terms and structure. — Proskauer

2. How good are your numbers?

• Take McKinsey’s latest quiz on the numbers behind current trends across business, society, and the world. — McKinsey


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