Image Credit: Reuters

Prosus NV has written off its entire investment in Byju's, underscoring the significant drop in valuations and turmoil at the Indian online tutoring firm that was once valued at $22 billion.

Prosus valued its 9.6 per cent stake in Byju's at zero from $493 million at the end of the fiscal year through March 2024, the South African-Dutch tech investor said in its financial results on Monday. Prosus said it doesn't have sufficient information on the startup's "financial health, liabilities, and future outlook."

Prosus is part of a group of discontented shareholders clamoring to oust Byju's founder, Byju Raveendran. Raveendran raised billions from investors, expanding through acquisitions as Covid-19 lockdowns boosted growth. But the company was thrown off balance when students returned to in-person learning and fell behind on its debt payments.

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"The longer he digs his heels in, the harder it becomes to turn the company around and this is why we have written it down to zero," Prosus Chief Financial Officer Basil Sgourdos said in an interview from Cape Town.

After missing a payment on a $1.2 billion loan, Byju's is battling with its lenders in courts over its debt restructuring, and its value has plummeted to about $200 million from a peak of $22 billion two years ago. Raveendran, a former school teacher, has so far clung on with his board's support.