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India's Byju's fiscal 2021 loss swells to $574 million, pushes listing plans

By Nishit Navin

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Tiger Global-backed Byju's on Wednesday reported a loss of 45.64 billion rupees ($574.06 million) for the 2021 fiscal year as promotion and employee expenses rose, with the edtech startup pushing listing plans to next year due to uncertain global conditions.

Byju's is reporting results for fiscal 2021 after a delay of more than 17 months.

The company's revenue dipped 3.3% to 24.28 billion rupees as it deferred about 40% of its revenue to subsequent years having adopted a new revenue recognition model, Byju's said.

Education technology was one of the few sectors that took off since the onset of the pandemic as lockdowns forced schools to shut for months together. Online learning platforms such as Byju's gained, though demand started fading with the reopening of schools and global economic uncertainty.

Gross revenue for fiscal 2022 was nearly 100 billion rupees, Byju's said, while revenue for the first four months of the current fiscal year stood at 45.30 billion rupees.

Unfavourable macroeconomic conditions also forced Byju's to push its listing plans to next year.

"We were looking for listing somewhere during this year, which now will get pushed out," Byju Raveendran, co-founder and chief executive, told Reuters. "Now the timeline is end of next year, assuming the macro will improve."

Formally called Think & Learn Pvt., Byju's would join a slate of high profile Indian IPOs after Zomato, Nykaa and Ant Group-backed Paytm to go public. Indian technology companies have benefited hugely from foreign institutional inflows this year as they stood to gain from the tech crackdown in China.

Apart from Tiger Global, Byju's, founded in 2011, counts Sequoia, General Atlantic, BlackRock and Meta Platforms chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative among its investors.

($1 = 79.5040 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nishit Navin in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Krishna Chandra Eluri)