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Byju's early investor Pai calls for better governance after auditor exit

Deloitte disclosed on Thursday that it was resigning as auditor because Byju's had delayed providing financial statements for 2021-22

Byju’s

Photo: Bloomberg

Reuters BENGALURU

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By Chris Thomas
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Mohandas Pai, an early investor in Indian edtech giant Byju's, said on Friday the company has not paid enough attention to governance, a day after its auditor and three prominent board members resigned.
Byju's and its CEO Byju Raveendran did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Deloitte disclosed on Thursday that it was resigning as auditor because Byju's had delayed providing financial statements for 2021-22. The same day, board members representing Peak XV Partners, earlier known as Sequoia Capital India, Prosus and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative also stepped down without giving reasons.
Pai, chairman and co-founder of Aarin Capital and one of India's most prominent business figures who once worked at IT giant Infosys, was Byju's early investor. Byju's website says Pai was among those who "have backed us and guided us" and "always believed in our vision."
"Byju has not paid enough attention to governance and releasing financial figures in time. If you take money from any investor, you are accountable," Pai told Reuters.
Byju's offers online tutorials for school students. It was once a darling of investors that valued it at $22 billion last year, but it has been embroiled in legal spats with lenders and sacked many employees amid a broader slowdown. This week's resignation of Deloitte and the three board members has put a spotlight on its financial management.
"Even if you are a private company, you are still accountable," Pai added.
Byju's global investors include General Atlantic, BlackRock and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, but none of them have so far commented on the recent developments.
Demand for Byju's tutorials boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Susan Fenton)

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First Published: Jun 23 2023 | 7:15 PM IST

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