Edtech Company Expands into Financial Services

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Edtech giant Byju’s recently leveraged up its financial knowledgeable by appointing Ajay Goel as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Goel recently left a similar role at the Mumbai-listed natural resource firm Vedanta (VDAN.NS) and he is now set to steer the debt-laden company’s finances.

Goel is sure to relate to the situation in hand, given his experience in dealing with the drying-up of cash piles and fluctuating commodity prices. In December 2020, Byju’s, which is backed by Prosus (PRX.AS), had sought easier terms on a year-old $1.2 billion loan private placement.

However, Byju’s has recently secured $700 million in a funding round led by a couple of West Asia-based sovereign wealth funds, and also saw private equity firms and some of their existing investors tagging along. The newly raised money will be used mostly to pay down some of the debt, and provide the company with some needed breathing space.

Byju’s was co-founded by Byju Raveendran and has lately been valued at $22 billion in a couple of fundraisings in 2020. With the company’s top line shrinking and losses mounting, the experienced Goel’s start date could not have come at a better time.

Byju’s is a leading Edtech startup in India, founded in 2015. In 2020, Byju’s released a learning software for students from grade 4 to 12 that came with expansive and comprehensive courses. The app also offers courses in competitive exams like JEE and NEET. The startup has expanded its activity beyond India and now offer courses in the US as well.

Ajay Goel is an accomplished corporate veteran who has held many top-level positions in finance over the years. He was most recently the appointed CFO of Vedanta. He was also CFO at Information Partners and has headed India Startup Council since 2012. He had previously served as the CFO of both PI Industries and MCsL LLC, a global software risk and security consultancy. With his experience and acumen, he is sure to be a major asset to Byju’s as they navigate the ever-changing economic situation.