Byju’s Co-Founder Divya Gokulnath Compares Ed-Tech Firm’s Results to ‘Brahmastra’; Know Why

Byju’s co-founder and director Divya Gokulnath has broken her silence on reports over the ed-tech firm’s financial performance in FY21 and FY22, saying that the second blockbuster release of this year, after the movie “Brahmastra”, was the financial results of the $22-billion company. In a social media post, Gokulnath said that while BYJU’s reported Rs 4,500 crore loss in FY21 due to accounting change, (or Rs 12.5 crore loss daily), “we made Rs 27 crore in revenue per day in FY22”.

In the long LinkedIn post, Gokulnath added that Byju’s  financial results were sensationalised to focus on its losses and stressed that it was not the case. “The second blockbuster release of this year, after Brahmastra, was BYJU’S financial results. I have not seen Brahmastra yet, but I do happen to know BYJU’S results. Because, as its Director, I was involved in its making,” she said on Tuesday.

Gokulnath further said that “sensationalism results in more clicks than truth in this age of 280-character reading attention spans”. “Whether or not you have seen the Bollywood blockbuster, I am sure you would have ‘seen’ our results. But have you seen the complete picture? Because just like for movie reviews, sensationalism results in more clicks than truth in this age of 280-character reading attention spans,” Gokulnath said.

“I have never had any problems with the stories written about us. In fact, the content of most of the report on our results is positive. But some of the headlines are another matter. It’s easy for forget that we are 18 months post FY21, and that BYJU’S has grown more than 4 times in this span. Or that our ‘widening losses’ in FY21 have been cut to half in FY22,” she added.

Gokulnath cited news headlines that focussed on Byju’s FY21 losses. “Headline: ‘Byju’s reports widening losses after prolonged audit delay’. What it should have been: ‘Byju’s reports heavy losses for FY21 due to accounting change’. Why: Well, the summary of this article itself says ‘accounting change moved revenue to subsequent years’,” she cited in an example.

The Byju’s director cited five such examples and explained what the headlines should actually have read. “You may ask why bother about such headlines in this annus horribilis of startups? Because I owe it to our 50,000 family members and 150 million plus students,” Gokulnath said further.

“Let’s judge Brahmastra and BYJU’S after seeing the entire picture,” she mentioned in the post.

Byju’s last Wednesday said its gross revenue jumped over four-fold to Rs 10,000 crore in FY22, while its losses in FY21 widened to Rs 4,588 crore. The company had registered a revenue of Rs 2,428 crore in FY21. Byju’s losses widened to Rs 4,588 crore in FY21 from Rs 231 crore in FY20 mainly on account of deferment of some revenue and losses incurred from WhiteHat Jr. The revenue of the company also declined by about a per cent to Rs 2,428 crore in FY21 from about Rs 2,511 crore in FY20.

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