The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched a foreign exchange violation probe against popular online education portal BYJU’S and conducted searches at three premises in Bengaluru after learning that the company got foreign direct investment worth ₹28,000 crore in a gap of twelve years starting from 2011.
Searches, according to the agency, were at two business centers and a residence of CEO Raveendaran Byju and his company, “Think & Learn Private Limited”.
“FEMA searches also revealed that the company has received foreign direct investment to the tune of ₹28000 crore (approximately) during the period from 2011 to 2023. Further, the company has also remitted ₹9,754 crore (approximately) to various foreign jurisdictions during the same period in the name of overseas direct investment,” the ED stated in a statement on Saturday.
The ED suspects that entries may not be correct. The company, said the agency, has booked around ₹944 crore in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses including the amount remitted to a foreign jurisdiction.
Accounts ‘not audited’
The Think & Learn Private Ltd did not prepare its financial statements since FY2020-21 and neither got the accounts audited which is mandatory. “The genuineness of the figures provided by the company are being cross-examined from the banks,” the ED observed.
The investigation against BYJU’Swas initiated by the ED on the basis of various complaints received from private persons. During the investigation conducted by the ED, several summonses were issued to the founder and CEO Raveendaran Byju, however, he always remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation.