(Additional details, quote from agency, company spokesperson)
April 29 (Reuters) –
India’s Financial Crimes Authority on Saturday said it had raided three properties of billionaire Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of educational platform Byju’s, on suspicion of breaking foreign laws. currency of the country.
The Directorate General of Enforcement (ED) said in a statement that it seized many documents and digital data during the search and issued a summons to the founder, but he did not appear. presently.
Byju’s is one of India’s biggest startups valued at $22 billion, with top global investors like General Atlantic, Blackrock and Sequoia Capital having invested in it over the years.
The ED said searches for alleged violations of foreign exchange laws revealed that Think and Learn Private Limited, Byju’s parent company, had received foreign direct investment of nearly 280 billion rupees ($3.43 billion). in the period from 2011 to 2023.
The platform saw its usage grow during the pandemic, but later laid off thousands of employees and suffered a valuation drop by one of its investors. Last month, Blackrock nearly halved Byju’s valuation to $11.15 billion, according to a filing seen by Reuters.
Byju’s legal spokesman said the visit by ED officials to one of the company’s offices in Bangalore was related to a routine investigation under foreign exchange law.
“We will continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure that they have all the information they need and we are confident that this matter will be resolved in a timely and effective manner,” the spokesperson said. satisfactory”.
The agency’s statement said the company also transferred Rs 97.5 billion crore to various offshore jurisdictions between 2011 and 2023 in the name of offshore direct investment.
The ED said Think and Learn has not prepared financial statements since the 2020-21 financial year, nor has its accounts been audited, which is required by regulation.
A Byju spokesman said the company had provided authorities with all the information they requested.
The spokesperson added: “We have nothing but the utmost confidence in the integrity of our operations. (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru, Sarita Chaganti Singh and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi, M. Sriram in Mumbai; edited by Lincoln Feast and William Mallard)
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