Byju’s Valuation Takes Another Hit as BlackRock Marks Down Fair Value

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, has once again lowered the fair value of Byju’s, the leading edtech startup, by a substantial 62 percent. This marks the second consecutive markdown by BlackRock since October 2022. While the adjustments are based on BlackRock’s internal assessments of the market environment, they do not necessarily indicate a permanent decline in Byju’s overall valuation. It is important to note that BlackRock holds a minority stake in the company, limiting its access to detailed operational information.


BlackRock’s Revised Valuation:

With less than a 1 percent stake, BlackRock now values its 2,279 shares in Byju’s at $4,043,471, resulting in an estimated fair value of $8.4 billion as of March 31, 2023. By comparison, in April of the previous year, Byju’s valuation was believed to be over $22 billion, as disclosed in BlackRock’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The significant markdown raises concerns about Byju’s performance and future prospects.

Limited Information Access:

Given its minority stake, BlackRock’s fair value adjustments are based on its internal assessments of the macro and microenvironment. It is important to consider that these adjustments do not reflect the complete financial picture or the long-term valuation of Byju’s. Limited access to operational information may contribute to a less comprehensive assessment by BlackRock.

Impact on Funding and Lender Negotiations:

At present, Byju’s is in the process of raising nearly a billion dollars in its second flat funding round from investors in the Middle East and the US. The company has already secured $250 million through structured instruments and is finalizing an additional $700 million in equity. This funding round could provide some relief to Byju’s, as it has been negotiating terms with lenders who have requested partial prepayment of the $1.2 billion Term Loan B raised in November 2021.

Challenges and Controversies:

Byju’s has faced a challenging period over the last 15 months, with various issues coming to the forefront. The company has encountered accounting irregularities, allegations of course mis-selling, and significant layoffs. Over the past year, Byju’s has laid off more than 3,500 employees due to a combination of drying venture capital funding and declining demand for online learning services. These challenges have necessitated a reevaluation of strategies and efforts to regain investor confidence.


Strategic Moves and Potential Merger: In addition to fundraising, Byju’s is seeking to list its tutoring services unit, Aakash Educational Services, on India’s stock exchanges with a valuation between $3 billion and $4 billion. However, reports have also emerged regarding exploratory merger talks between Byju’s and its major rival, Unacademy, with regards to a potential consolidation of Aakash. These discussions indicate a dynamic landscape in the edtech sector, with companies considering partnerships and alliances to navigate changing market conditions.

Byju’s ongoing struggles have garnered further attention with the recent search conducted by India’s financial probe agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), at the company’s offices in Bengaluru. The ED’s investigation adds to the mounting pressure on Byju’s, which has already been dealing with negative publicity surrounding its accounting practices and alleged mis-selling of courses. These controversies have created an atmosphere of uncertainty around the company’s operations and financial stability.

Despite these challenges, Byju’s remains determined to navigate the turbulent waters it currently faces. One of its key strategic moves has been the acquisition of Aakash Educational Services, a prominent player in the offline tutoring space, for nearly a billion dollars in April 2021. Byju’s aims to leverage Aakash’s brand and expertise to strengthen its position in the education market. The company is now seeking to list Aakash on India’s stock exchanges at a valuation of $3-4 billion, a move that could potentially boost its financial standing and investor confidence.

As Byju’s continues to navigate its challenges, it must prioritize addressing the concerns raised by investors and stakeholders. Rebuilding trust and transparency will be crucial for the company’s long-term success. Byju’s will need to focus on improving its corporate governance practices, ensuring accurate financial reporting, and implementing robust compliance measures to regain the confidence of investors and the wider market.


BlackRock’s recent markdown in Byju’s fair value, combined with the ongoing challenges the company faces, underscores the need for careful evaluation of its future prospects. Byju’s must leverage its strong brand, technology-driven approach, and strategic acquisitions to overcome the obstacles it currently faces. Only by demonstrating sustained growth, financial stability, and a commitment to addressing its controversies can Byju’s regain its position as a leader in the edtech industry and restore investor trust in its potential.