Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju's
Yes, 2022 has not been an easy year for us. This year is not—to quote from the movie Rocky Balboa— “all sunshine and rainbows” for any start-up anywhere in the world and we have been no exception. But unlike many other startups, which have faced external challenges, our challenges have largely been internal. As you all may be aware, our FY21 audit got very delayed. With the media spotlight that is always on us, many baseless theories got floated around to explain the delays, which may have caused anxiety for some of you. If it did, I am sorry about that. But the fact is that we were not adequately prepared to handle the audit for the size of the company we have grown to, and we learnt this the hard way. We have grown in every dimension—products, business models, geographies, customer segments—very quickly, and absorbing both the large scale and scope of this transition required more time than we had earlier imagined. Additionally, we had to make a change in our revenue recognition to account for a new business model we launched during COVID. And finally, we had numerous acquisitions to account for. All of this really stressed our systems, our people and resulted in inordinate delays. But I have always believed that passion, hard work and determination can see anything through. We got through all of those challenges and have now passed this trial by fire. I’m grateful to our colleagues who worked very hard on getting our audit done.
The last six months have been tough, humbling, and—on a positive note—a great learning experience. Thank you for your complete trust and commitment when things were not the easiest. I look forward to your continued support when things will go smoother, stronger and better than ever before.
While we struggled on the audit front, our business has been thriving, thanks to all of your efforts. The last financial year (FY22, ending March 2022) was our best year so far and 2022-23 is set to be an even stronger year. The comeback, as they say, is always stronger than the setback. Going forward in FY23 and beyond, we will combine growth with efficiency to ensure sustainability. We have already started shifting our focus towards profitable growth. The overall idea is to allocate resources effectively in order to maximize impact.
A strong 2022 in the face of adverse macroeconomic conditions makes me even more confident that Byju’s is built to last many generations. As the great philosopher Albert Camus said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
These are our latest financial and operational highlights -
Long growth story short, we now have the world’s largest self-learning platform (Byju’s Learning App), the world’s largest live learning platform (Byju’s Classes and Byju’s 1-on-1), the world’s largest reading platform (Epic!), the world’s largest kids’ coding community (Tynker), and one of the world’s largest not-for-profit EdTech initiative (Byju’s Education for All).
- Clean and unqualified audit report for FY21: We have received a clean and unqualified audit report for FY21. Around 40% of our pre-audit revenue for FY21 has been ‘deferred’ to subsequent years but the incurred costs have all been subsumed in the same year. It means this entire deferred revenue will be directly contributing to our profits in FY22 and FY23. The change in our accounting methodology and the high cost of multiple acquisitions reflected in the ₹4,500 crore loss figure for FY21.
- 4x revenue growth from FY21 to FY22: Our FY22 revenue is nearly ₹10,000 crore, or $1.3 billion. This means we are now a billion-dollar plus revenue company.
- The latest quarter was the best ever: April-June 2022 was our best ever quarter by far. In fact, we have clocked more than ₹1,000 crore in sales in each of the last five months! This means $2 billion revenue is within our sights now.
- K12 market leader, by far: In the K12 segment, Byju’s revenue is nearly 20 times the next two competitors combined. This means that we are getting even larger in a market that is growing bigger every year.
- Aakash and Great Learning are growing strongly: The revenue of Aakash Education has nearly doubled since it joined hands with Byju’s. More impressively, Aakash Byju’s is growing equally across all its three streams—medical, engineering and foundation. Great Learning has also doubled in the same period.
- Our hybrid model is live, working and winning: Byju’s learning app, Byju’s Tuition Center (BTC), Byju’s Live Classes and Aakash Byju’s are now working in sync to bring our hybrid model to life. Nearly 250 BTCs are already live.
Today, our size and market leadership means that we have a bigger and greater responsibility. Being large is not—and will never be—an end in itself for us. We exist to add value every day to our 150 million students, and that is the basis for our real valuation.
Also read: The comeback is stronger than the setback: Byju's founder to employees
In this roller-coaster year, there is one metric that makes me really motivated about our mission. Byju’s Education for All, our not-for-profit initiative, has now reached nearly 5 million children, for most of whom it is the primary mode of learning. We have commitments to scale this number to 12 million in the next two years at a faster than expected rate. Shaping the future careers of these little ones from underserved communities is our fuel to keep going forever. Building Byju’s is about building lives.
2022 has taught us to remain agile, be open to adjustments and learn from our shortcomings. We will leverage these lessons to emerge even stronger. I look ahead towards the rest of 2022 and the coming years with great optimism and excitement where we will emerge as the largest and most impactful education company in the world.
We are powered by the dreams of 50,000 Byjuites. Each one of us is for the rest of us. I don’t have the great fortune of interacting with each one of you individually. However, I am eternally grateful for your dedication, commitment and passion. We bring the Olympic motto to life through our work. Citius. Altius. Fortius. Faster. Higher. Stronger.