Indian education technology startup Byju’s is not renewing its jersey sponsorship deal with the Indian cricket team, the company’s co-founder Divya Gokulnath told CNBC.
In a wide-ranging interview, Gokulnath talked about the path to profitability and the possibility of an IPO for Byju’s, one of India’s most valuable private technology companies.
Byju’s in Bangalore conducts online classes for students in various subjects. It has 150 million students worldwide, of which 25% are outside India.
In the photo, star Indian batsman Virat Kohli. Indian education startup Byju’s logo features prominently on the Indian cricket team’s jerseys.
Munir Uz Zaman | AFP | Getty Images
The latest public figures showed the company made a loss in the financial year ending in March 2021. Gokulnath attributes this to a change in revenue recognition. Instead of income being counted when a person pays for a course, it is instead calculated when a particular course starts.
Gokulnath said the company has seen improvements over the past 12 months.
“We’re doing very well … the last 12 months have been very good for us in terms of the number of products we’ve added, in terms of the different formats we’ve launched, in terms of the geographies and subjects we’ve entered,” – said Gokulnath.
The co-founder added that the company “hopefully” will be profitable by the end of the financial year ending in March 2024.
This involves reducing branding and marketing costs. Byju’s was the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year. The company has also signed a sponsorship deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the country’s governing body for the sport. Cricket is the largest sport in India, a country of over 1.4 billion people.
Currently, the Byju logo appears on the jersey of the Indian cricket team. But Gokulnath told CNBC that Byju’s will not continue the deal after it expires in March.
Byju’s is reportedly valued at $22 billion. Gokulnath says the company was about to go public last year, but market conditions deteriorated.
Tech stocks around the world took a hit as the US Federal Reserve and other central banks quickly raised interest rates to combat rampant inflation.
An IPO is still pending if the market improves, Gokulnath said.
“Even at the beginning of last year, we were thinking about several options for going public. But the point is that we have the ability to decide when, where and how we want to do it,” Gokulnath said.
“We want to do this at a time when we don’t have to give up the potential of the company. Because many internal processes are under our control, but not the external environment, and we want both to go very well. before we go IPO’.
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