New Delhi: A couple of days after the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) winded up its searc operation, Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of edutech major BYJU’s has written a letter to his employees, 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 ED.
The ED had raided three premises of Raveendran and his company, Think & Learn Private Limited, on the charges of violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) provisions. After the operation, ED said that BYJU’s ‘remitted ₹9,754 crore to various foreign jurisdictions in the name of overseas direct investment’.’
In the letter, Raveedran stated to his employees that ‘we have made a number of overseas acquisitions (investing an amount of approximately ₹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 added.
Raveendran claimed that BYJU’s has brought more foreign direct investment (FDI) to India than any other Indian startup (₹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,” he added.
A senior officer of the ED had said the agency had asked Raveendaran to appear many times in the past couple of years, but he did not join the investigation. “He (Raveendran) along with his family moved to Dubai, when we sought to contact him,” said the officer, adding a team had to be sent to search the office and residence of Raveendran as they had no option left but to send a team on April 27 to conduct search operations, which continued till the night of April 28.
Acknowledging that the ED visited his office and other premises as part of an enquiry under FEMA, the BYJU’s CEO said, “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.”
“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,” the letter said.
Raveendran, however, clarified that all transactions were 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,” he noted.
It also came to the light that BYJU’s has 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.