The delay in submitting its audited financial report for the financial year ended March 2021, by nearly 18 months, subjected edtech giant Byju’s to a lot of scrutiny – even from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Now, the edtech player has finally brought an end to the one-and-a-year old delay by disclosing its audited results for the fiscal year 2021 on Wednesday, September 14.
According to the audited results, Byju’s revenue amounted to ₹2428 crores ($305.6 million) on a consolidated basis for the period, which falls well below its own projections. It is also a drop of 3% year-over-year from the ₹2511 crores it had generated in the previous financial year. And if that is not enough, the edtech player’s net loss for the year widened nearly 20 times – from ₹231.69 crores in FY20 to ₹4588.75 crores in FY21.
This drop in revenue comes as a surprise, especially since Byju’s has grown to be the highest-valued edtech player in India and its rivals witnessed a steep rise in their revenues when the pandemic was at its height. Edtechs like Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu, and even Lido Learning (which recently filed for bankruptcy) saw their revenue grow during the period.
“If this can’t break us, nothing will,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s, as the financial reports were finally revealed. He claimed that FY21 witnessed a strong growth in its business, but more than 40% of the revenue for the fiscal year had been “deferred” to subsequent years. The reason? Certain changes in revenue recognition and in its accounting practices. Raveendran said that Byju’s had focussed on growth over the past two years, and now, there was a ”renewed” focus on “efficient growth.”
“Only revenue got pushed to subsequent years and all the associated expenses were recorded in FY21 itself. On top of this, we have also made fast-growing but loss-making acquisitions. A combination of these reasons has increased our losses in FY21. It is around ₹4,500 crore of losses on ₹2,500 crore revenue, but the actual revenue or enrolments for that year is much higher,” Raveendran claimed.
It also claimed to generate $1.258 billion (around ₹10,000 crore) in gross revenue (unaudited) in the financial year that ended in March 2022, and from April to July, the edtech player brought in $570 million. With an eye on the future, it projected to rein in ₹15,000 crores in revenue in FY23, along with better margins.
Byju’s attributes the delay in reporting the financial report to COVID-19, as well as the numerous acquisitions it made and the complexity associated with the edtech giant becoming a multi-product and multi-geography business. It has also postponed its plans of making its debut in the public market this year.