Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of ed-tech major BYJU’s, has written a letter to his employees, accessed by IANS, saying that in order to fund overseas acquisitions, the company has remitted “some of its funding” abroad, as it faced search and seizure operations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED conducted search and seizure operations at three premises of Raveendran and his company Think & Learn Private Limited, under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The ED said that BYJU’s “remitted Rs 9,754 crore to various foreign jurisdictions in the name of overseas direct investment”.
Raveendran told employees in the letter that “we have made a number of overseas acquisitions (investing an amount of approximately Rs 9,000 crore) over the years as part of our growth strategy”.
“In order to fund these acquisitions, we have remitted some of our funding overseas,” he said.
He said that BYJU’s has brought more FDI to India than any other Indian startup (Rs 28,000 crore).
“As a result, we have been able to create job opportunities for more than 55,000 talented professionals. This makes us India’s largest employer among startups,” said Raveendran.
An ED source told IANS on Saturday that in the last two years, Raveendaran was called many times but he did not join the investigation.
“Also, to avoid the ED, he along with his family moved to Dubai,” the source said, leaving ED with no option but to send a team that conducted search operations on April 27, which went on till the night of April 28.
Raveendaran said in the letter that the recent visit by the ED “is an enquiry under FEMA”.
“The information requested by and furnished to the officers in connection with the FDI raised, overseas investments made, and cross-border transactions relating to marketing and branding activities by BYJU’S has previously been submitted by our authorised representatives,” he told employees.
According to him, BYJU’S has taken all efforts to fully comply with all applicable foreign exchange laws and “all our cross-border transactions have been duly vetted by both its professional advisors/counsel and advisors/counsel of the investment funds and other sophisticated counterparties”.
“Additionally, all such transactions are routed only through regular banking channels/the RBI’s authorized dealer banks and the requisite documentation and statutory filings have been duly submitted. I want to reassure you that we are fully cooperating with the authorities,” Raveendaran noted.
BYJU’s is funded by more than 70 “impact investors” who have “satisfactorily done due diligence on our operations, including all FEMA compliance”.
“We are confident that the authorities will also come to the same conclusion,” he added.