After a delay of almost 17 months, edtech decacorn BYJU’S revealed its FY21 revenue figures on Wednesday.

The company’s gross revenue came in at ₹2,428 crore and its losses ballooned to ₹4,588 crore, which is almost 20 times the ₹231-crore loss it reported in FY20.

‘Revenue recognition changes’

In a conversation with BusinessLine, CEO Byju Raveendran said there was good business growth in FY21 but due to certain changes in revenue recognition, more than 40 per cent of the revenue got deferred from FY21 to subsequent years.

“Only revenue got pushed to subsequent years and all the associated expenses were recorded in FY21 itself. On top of this, we have also made fast-growing but loss-making acquisitions. A combination of these reasons has increased our losses in FY21. It is around ₹4,500 crore of losses on ₹2,500 crore revenue, but the actual revenue or enrolments for that year is much higher,” Raveendran claimed.

The company will now recognise revenue from courses bought on EMIs, after significant (almost entire) collection of the revenue is done. Further, the subscription revenue will be recognised over the period of consumption.

FY23 projection

Commenting on the delay in financial statements, Raveendran said, “The initial few weeks/ couple of months’ delay was because of Covid-19. Then, our multiple acquisitions and the complexity of BYJU’S becoming a multi-product and multi-geography business added a few more months. The third reason was the change in revenue recognition which created the maximum delay. Since it is the same auditor and same partner, these kinds of changes require additional work and thus takes time.”

For FY22, the company said its gross unaudited revenue is close to ₹10,000 crore and is now projecting to do ₹15,000 crore revenue in FY23 along with better margins. In earlier media interactions, BYJU’S had projected it would achieve ₹17,000-crore revenue this fiscal. “We are making changes in a way that we are going for efficient growth. Last two years, we were focused on just growth, but now with the macro environment changing, there is a renewed focus on efficient growth,” said Raveendran.

Aakash payments

Further talking about the delay in closing payments for the acquisition of Aakash Educational Services, he said there is some payment remaining to Blackstone because of an RBI guideline with which both Blackstone and BYJU’S need to comply. “As a non-resident shareholder, we cannot pay more than the fair market value to Blackstone. So we are waiting for some more growth to happen in Aakash, which is actually happening. We have mutually decided to push the payments by a quarter,” Raveendran added.

BYJU’S is believed to owe an additional $200 million for the Aakash acquisition.

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