Uncovering last month’s push for the resignation of its director from Baiju’s board, Process, one of the edtech company’s earliest and largest investors, said on Tuesday that the Indian company’s executive leadership “regularly ignored advice and recommendations despite repeated administration of strategic, operational, legal and corporate governance”.
“Our director has decided to resign from Baiju’s board after it became clear that he could no longer fulfill his fiduciary duty to serve the long-term interests of the company and its stakeholders,” the Netherlands-based investment firm said in a statement.
Process said Baiju’s reporting and governance structure was “underdeveloped for a company of that scale”.
Process’s Russell Dresenstock stepped down from Baiju’s board in June, along with Peak XV Partners’ GV Shankar and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Vivian Wu amid questions about the company’s financial health and corporate governance practices.
Process first invested in Byjuice in 2018. Recently, Baiju was valued at $5.1 billion, a drop of more than 75 percent from the startup’s $22 billion valuation last year. Process reduced the value of Baiju’s 9.6 percent stake to about $493 million in the fiscal year ended March 31.
The statement of process also brings to the fore the importance of Baiju in the Indian start-up ecosystem. “Byjus sits at the intersection of India and education, two very important and strategic areas of process investment. “Although we no longer have a representative on the company’s board, we continue to believe in Baiju’s potential and its role in revolutionizing access to quality education in India and around the world,” it said, adding, “The process will continue to assert its rights and protect the company’s long-term interests in collaboration with other stakeholders and government authorities.”
Process has invested more than $5 billion across sectors in India.
Responding to the statement from Process, Baiju’s spokesperson said in an email: “We have taken note of the observations of our value investors. We have updated our shareholders on concrete steps taken to improve corporate governance and financial reporting.