The Netherlands-based tech investor Prosus has marked down its investment in Byju’s, which brings the valuation of the beleaguered edtech player to under $3 billion, an executive said on Wednesday.
This is not the first time that Prosus has marked down its investments in the edtech firm. In May this year, it had slashed its stake value by $1.62 billion to $489.6 million, then valuing the firm at $5 billion.
“We have written down our investment in Byju’s by a further $315 million, which effectively values Byju’s at sub $3 billion and we own a bit less than 10 per cent in the company,” said group CFO and executive director Basil Sgourdos in the company’s analyst call.
“We are working every day to improve our position in the company and I would suggest that other shareholders are similarly focused. The company is challenged and confronting multiple headwinds,” Ervin Tu, the interim CEO said in an analyst call.
Almost six months ago, Prosus reclassified its investments in Byju’s from an associate to being held as an investment as its stake in the company came down below 10 per cent, and also as it stepped off of the board.
Tu, along with group CFO and executive director Sgourdos, is in India. The analyst call was held in New Delhi.
The other investment that has impacted the firm’s performance for the first half of FY24 is Pharmeasy.
“Another is a write down in Pharmeasy of about $118 million and that’s really driven by the need for Pharmeasy to raise money to settle debt. We actually participated in that round which expresses our confidence in the business going forward. We own 13 per cent of Pharmeasy. We haven’t disclosed the full value of the company,” added Sgourdos.
Despite these hurdles, Tu shared that India is a great opportunity.
“We feel good about our chances and we feel great about the opportunities that India represents. The GDP is expected to grow from $3.5 trilllion to $7 trillion. You should expect much more from us in India,” said Tu.
Among the businesses that are doing well here include Swiggy, PayU and Meesho.
“Swiggy is a business with great promise. We are very pleased with the improvement in profitability that the company has exhibited while continuing to grow well. There is still more work to be done. There is a fierce and able competitor in the form of Zomato in the market,” said Tu.
“The other big play that Prosus is looking for is the fintech space with PayU. We are working very hard to prepare the business to be in an investable form. Our aim is to have that investable form sometime by the second half of next year. PayU is a gem in our portfolio with real momentum both on the payment and credit side,” he added.