On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at the Bengaluru-based office and residential premises of edtech major BYJU’s, as well as the home of its CEO and co-founder, Raveendran Byju. The ED was conducting an investigation into possible foreign exchange violations, and seized “incriminating” documents and digital data from the three premises.
According to the ED, three premises, including two business locations and one residential property belonging to Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, were searched under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The agency stated that it has seized various documents and digital data that suggest possible violations of foreign exchange regulations.
BYJU’s is a popular Indian edtech company that offers a variety of educational content and services, including online classes, personalized tutoring, and exam preparation materials. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and is valued at over $16 billion.
The ED’s investigation is focused on whether BYJU’s violated FEMA regulations by allegedly receiving foreign investments without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The agency has not yet provided any further details regarding the nature of the alleged violations or the specific documents and data that were seized during the search.
A spokesperson for BYJU’s released a statement in response to the ED’s actions, stating that the company is fully compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. The spokesperson also stated that BYJU’s is cooperating with the ED’s investigation and will continue to do so in the future.
The ED’s search of BYJU’s offices and residences is the latest in a series of actions taken by Indian authorities against major tech companies. In recent months, Indian regulators have cracked down on several tech giants, including Amazon, Google, and Twitter, over alleged violations of Indian laws and regulations.
The actions taken by Indian authorities have raised concerns among some observers about the country’s regulatory environment and its impact on foreign investment. Some experts have suggested that the Indian government’s aggressive approach to regulating the tech sector could deter foreign investors and harm India’s economy in the long run.
Despite these concerns, the Indian government has continued to pursue its regulatory agenda, arguing that it is necessary to protect Indian consumers and businesses from potential harm. The ED’s investigation into BYJU’s is just one example of this broader regulatory effort, and it remains to be seen how the situation will ultimately be resolved.