BYJU’s likely to shut down beleaguered coding platform WhiteHat Jr


New Delhi, February 23

Edtech major BYJU’s is planning to wind up coding platform WhiteHat Jr, which it acquired for $300 million, as part of restructuring and cut costs.

WhiteHat Jr, which at its peak had more than 8,000 employees across the country, now has some hundreds of roles left as it never picked up pace and brought revenues for the company, informed sources told IANS on Thursday.

According to people close to the development, the discussions at the top level at BYJU’s have happened to get rid of the WhiteHat Jr brand which has faced severe criticism in the past.

BYJU’s, however, told IANS that they have no plans of shutting it down.

“We are merely optimising it for organic and efficient growth. We remain fully committed to delivering world-class educational experiences and solutions that empower students to achieve their full potential,” the company spokesperson said.

The company said that it is constantly evaluating and optimising its business operations towards global growth.

“As an ongoing activity, we are actively evaluating all our business units to ensure that they are aligned with our path to profitability,” BYJU’s told IANS.

TechCrunch was first to report on the development.

BYJU’s acquired WhiteHat Jr in July 2020 for nearly $300 million.

It reported a massive Rs 1,690 crore loss in the financial year 2021, while its expenses reached Rs 2,175 crore in FY21 — compared to Rs 69.7 crore in FY20.

In the April-May period last year, over 1,000 of its employees, including teachers which are on contractual basis, and hence not full-time employees, resigned.

Later, more WhiteHat Jr employees either moved on their own or were asked to go.

WhiteHat Jr shut its schools division that targeted to take its flagship coding curriculum to 10 lakh school students by the next academic year.

Its foray into teaching music online, offering guitar and piano playing, yielded no fruitful results.

According to sources, BYJU’s which was last valued at $22 billion, will not be able to meet its March 2023 deadline to achieve group-level profitability, as it envisioned in its earnings in October last year.

The company, which has sacked thousands of employees to date and has taken deeper cuts, is still unable to achieve profitability at group level amid mounting losses.

The edtech unicorn reported a loss of Rs 4,588 crore for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2021.


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