Byju’s is considering winding down WhiteHat Jr, a coding platform it acquired more than two years ago for a $300 million enterprise value, as the edtech group looks to cut costs and eliminate a business unit that has sparked significant criticism of the company .
The Bengaluru-headquartered company, India’s most valuable startup with a $22 billion valuation, has been in talks in recent weeks about closing what was once touted as one of its best acquisitions, three sources familiar with the matter told gotechbusiness.com. A decision has not yet been reached, said a separate person familiar with the matter.
The discussions come at a time when Byju’s is cutting costs within the company. The company, which has laid off thousands of employees and cut back on marketing costs, was until recently spending about $14 million a month on the encryption platform, one of the sources said.
A Byju spokesperson declined to comment.
Byju’s acquired WhiteHat Jr in 2020 for an enterprise value of $300 million. A significant portion of the payout was tied to future growth metrics. Byju’s ended up spending less than $235 million on the acquisition deal, said one of the above sources who, like others, asked for anonymity when discussing private matters.
The coding part has drawn criticism from many for his misleading claims and aggressive tactics towards court students. WhiteHat Jr is known to have sued some of those critics as well, a move that earned the company even more backlash. It later withdrew the lawsuit. WhiteHat Jr. founder Karan Bajaj (pictured above) left Byju’s a year after the acquisition.
Byju’s — which counts Sequoia India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tiger Global, B Capital, UBS and General Atlantic among its backers — has spent the past year addressing much of the criticism of the company. Byju’s said last month that its salespeople were no longer visiting students’ homes to pitch their parents and that the company is now conducting a test to determine whether a child’s parents can afford to subscribe to the service before signing up. to register.