ED raids offices of Byju’s for possible financial fraud

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has confirmed that it searched the premises of Think & Learn Private Limited, which runs the online education portal Byju’s, in Bengaluru on April 29.
Byju's digital learningThe ED raided two business premises linked to the company and one residential property linked to Byju’s founder Raveendran Byju in Bengaluru to find any possible fraud under provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

ED revealed that Rs 28,000 crore of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the company, and Rs 9,754 crore overseas direct investment by the company are under the scanner. This indicates that Byju’s will be under pressure to raise further funds.

The search revealed that Byju’s received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Rs 28,000 crore from 2011 to 2023. Further, the company has remitted Rs 9,754 crore to various foreign jurisdictions during the same period, in the name of overseas direct investment.

Byju’s has spent around Rs 944 crore as advertisement and marketing expenses, which included amounts remitted to foreign jurisdictions. Byju’s is one of the key sponsors of several sports events in India and abroad.

Byju’s has not prepared its financial statements since the financial year 2020-21, and has not got the accounts audited, which is mandatory. Hence, the genuineness of the figures provided by Byju’s is being cross-examined from the banks.

The investigation against the online education platform was initiated on the basis of complaints from various individuals, ED said.

Though the ED has summoned Byju’s founder and CEO Raveendran Byju multiple times, he always remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation.

The recent visit by officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Bengaluru was related to a routine inquiry under FEMA, according to the agency.

Byju’s legal team said that they had been completely transparent with the authorities and had provided all the information they requested.

“We have nothing but the utmost confidence in the integrity of our operations, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of compliance and ethics. We will  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 satisfactory manner,” Byju’s said in a news statement.

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