Saturday, January 13, 2024

The rise and fall of Byju's

👆 Byju Ravindran even today can crack a CAT or similar exam with a 99 plus percentile score - he routinely does it in fact. 

He started by taking CAT  classes and was very good at it. 

Then he expanded into school, college etc education. With excellent course material. And he scaled up. 

Then ambition, and  VC funding took over. The money came by the truckload. Now, a VC who gives you money wants you to expand, and expand fast. The focus is mainly on the topline. The entrepreneur who is drunk with all that easy money goes bar hopping, with a string of drinkers in tow, and at every place he visits, announces that drinks are on the house. The top line skyrockets, based on which the VC's increase the valuation of the company in the subsequent rounds.

When the VC's increase the valuation at which the new round raises money, the value of the investment is marked upwards in all the funds that invested in the company. Now the VC's get drunk on euphoria. 

The entrepreneur meanwhile is under severe pressure to expand, expand, expand. 

Byju's has received 5 billion dollars, that is 40000 crores , in 28 rounds of funding so far. 

The pressure to increase the topline was so high that Ravindran's army of sales people started mis-selling the products, and the accountants engaged in questionable accounting practices to inflate the topline. 

Obviously, this was not going to last for long. The backlash started, and everything started winding down, correcting. 
Our man Ravindran, I believe, has run off to Dubai. 

And now, the company, into which 5 billion dollars have been pumped in, is worth 1 billion. 

The perils of excess. The perils of debt. The perils of unchecked ambition. The sin of greed. Every scripture has earned us about it, and said it will bring ruin. 

The scriptures are right, but with a slight twist. In today's times, it does bring ruin, to everyone but the promoter. 

He is partying in Dubai, while everyone else is cleaning up the debris.


Anonymous said...

Spot on! Dubai thrives in giving safe haven to fugitives like him! They have worked this out as their revenue model!

Anonymous said...

Perils of being overly influenced by VCs. They want to flip ASAP & so look merely to the next valuation & not sustainable growth. If the founder CEO is not strong to resist the result is what we see