Byju’s Investors Fire Raveendran Family From Company In Contested EGM

There has been a coup at embattled ed-tech unicorn Byju’s.

Byju’s investors have unanimously voted to oust Byju Raveendran and his family from the company. The decision was taken at Extraordinary General Meeting called by the investors which the Byju family had refused to attend. The ouster, however, could be on hold because the Byju family had preemptively approached the Karnataka High Court, which had passed an order barring the enforcing of any decisions taken at the EGM till 13th March.

“At today’s Extraordinary General Meeting, shareholders unanimously passed all resolutions put forward for vote,” a spokesperson from Prosus said. “These included a request for the resolution of the outstanding governance, financial mismanagement and compliance issues at BYJU’s; the reconstitution of the Board of Directors, so that it is no longer controlled by the founders of T&L; and a change in leadership of the Company,” they added. These investors collectively own 60 percent of the company, and include storied names including Prosus, Peak XV (formerly Sequoia India) and General Atlantic.

The Byju family — which is also the board of the company — had refused to attend the EGM. Byju Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and his brother Riju Raveendran are the only three members left on the board after the resignation of the investors. They collectively hold 26 percent in Byju’s.

When the EGM had been announced by the investors, Byju’s had filed a suit in the Karnataka High Court, which had passed an order asking Byju’s shareholders not to bring in effect any resolutions expected to be passed during the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) until the final hearing of its plea. As such, the Byju family had refused to attend the EGM, saying its outcome wasn’t valid. The group of investors, however, say they’re confident about the validity of the EGM meeting and its outcome to oust the Raveendrans.

The EGM itself had witnessed high drama earlier in the day, when supporters of Byju Raveendran had ambushed the meeting, and left messages in support of the founders. It had taken hours for the investors to clear the meeting rooms, and the meeting could only proceed after these people were evicted.

But amidst all the drama, the investors have made their stand clear. This had been expected when representatives of Sequoia, Prosus and Chan Zuckerberg foundation had unanimously quit the board claiming misgovernance at the firm. These investors have now banded together, and managed to formally pass a resolution to evict the founders, the validity of which will likely be adjudicated by the Karnataka High Court. But regardless of what the High Court says, one thing is amply clear — Byju’s is at open war with its own majority investors.