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Byju is on India’s financial crime agency’s radar.

Photo: BYJU

On Saturday, India’s crime-fighting agency investigated three facilities of edtech giant Byju and its founder Byju Raveendran and confiscated “incriminating” documents and digital data.

FEMA, the nation’s anti-money laundering statute, was used by the Enforcement Directorate to conduct the searches. WazirX, CoinSwitch Kuber, Vivo, and the BBC have all been investigated by the agency in recent months.

“Various” private complaints spurred the probe, the agency stated. In continuing Byju’s inquiry, ED claimed it summoned Raveendran “several” times, but the founder “remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation.”

Byju generated $3.4 billion in foreign direct investment from 2011 to 2023, according to the investigation. During this time, the startup remitted $1.1 billion to foreign entities and spent $115 million on advertising and marketing.

The delayed reporting of Byju’s yearly financials may have spurred ED’s probe. The findings—how much money Byju raised and invested in abroad units—have been extensively published by Byju and covered by the media.

Since 2020-21, the company has not prepared financial statements or had its accounts audited. Thus, the banks are verifying the company’s figures,” ED said Sunday.

The Bengaluru-based Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup backed by BlackRock, Sequoia India, Lightspeed Venture Partners India, and UBS, called the agency’s searches “a routine inquiry” and said it had provided all the requested information.

We are devoted to the highest levels of compliance and ethics and have complete faith in our operations. We’ll keep working with the authorities to ensure they have all the information they need, and we’re certain this will be addressed quickly and satisfactorily. A Byju’s legal team spokeswoman remarked, “We want to emphasize that it is business as usual at Byju’s.”

“We are committed to providing high-quality educational products and services to our customers across India and the world.”

Byju is finishing a significant investment round and preparing for Aakash’s IPO when ED remarks.

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