Edtech firm BYJU’S has denied a media report that it was considering a plan to shut WhiteHat Jr., the edtech coding startup it had acquired in 2020.
TechCrunch had reported that BYJU’S was looking to close WhiteHat Jr. to reduce costs as well as to eliminate the business division that attracted significant criticism to the Bengaluru-headquartered company.
“We have no plans of shutting (WhiteHat Jr.) down. We are merely optimising it for organic and efficient growth,” a BYJU’S spokesperson told YourStory in response to emailed queries.
“At the group level, in accordance with its steadfast commitment towards achieving operational profitability, BYJU’S is constantly evaluating and optimising its business operations towards global growth. As an ongoing activity, we are actively evaluating all our business units to ensure that they are aligned with our path to profitability,” the spokesperson added.
BYJU’S had announced acquiring WhiteHat Jr. for $300 million in 2020. It eventually spent less than $235 million on the deal, TechCrunch noted.
BYJU’S is drastically slashing costs. The company—which has reduced its spending on marketing and let go of thousands of staff—was spending around $14 million on its coding platform each month until recently, the report added.
YourStory could not independently verify the report.
Last June, WhiteHat Jr fired around 300 employees in a cost-cutting measure. WhiteHat Jr has been under fire for making false claims and using pushy tactics to court students. The coding platform received even more criticism when it sued several of its critics. Eventually, it retracted the lawsuit.
In November, speaking at TechSparks 2022, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S, said, while the company is still figuring out the go-to-market strategy for WhiteHat Jr, its other major acquisitions have been profitable.
Recently, the edtech firm has come under scrutiny due to its questionable accounting procedures and substantial downsizing. Earlier this month, YourStory reported that BYJU’S axed over 900 more jobs across teams in a fresh round of layoffs.
The startup, which was last valued at $22 billion, reported a loss of Rs 4,564.38 crore in FY21, bigger than its FY20 loss, which stood at Rs 305.5 crore.
Disclaimer: This article was updated with BYJU’S statement.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma