India’s ed-tech giant, Byju’s, has been slapped with a whopping 9,000 crore rupees ($1 billion) penalty by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly violating foreign funding laws.
An NDTV report cited sources who revealed that the ED claims Byju’s received around 28,000 crore ($3 billion) rupees in foreign direct investment (FDI) between 2011 and 2023, remitting about 9,754 crore rupees overseas in the same period.
The ED’s notice adds a new chapter to Byju’s tumultuous journey from a startup sensation to legal turmoil. Founded by Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath in 2011, Byju’s initially offered online learning programs for competitive exams, expanding with its popular learning app in 2015. The app’s widespread adoption during the pandemic fuelled its growth.
However, post-2021 losses, a decline in value, and allegations of coercive sales tactics and poor employee treatment have tarnished Byju’s image. Earlier this year, the ED raided Byju’s office over suspected foreign funding law violations.