Baiju’s code platform has discussed closing Whitehat Jr.

Baiju is weighing whether to offload Whitehat Jr., a coding platform it acquired two years ago with an enterprise value of $300 million, as the edtech group looks to cut costs and shed a business unit that has drawn much criticism from the company.

The Bengaluru-based company, an Indian startup valued at $22 billion, has held talks in recent weeks to close what was once considered one of its best acquisitions, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. It has not yet been determined whether there is a specific person who knows the case.

The talks come as Byjus cuts costs at the company. The company, which has laid off thousands of workers and is covering marketing costs, was until recently spending $14 million a month on its coding platform, one of the sources said.

A spokesman for Biju declined to comment.

Baiju acquired Whitehat Jr. in 2020 for an enterprise value of $300 million. A higher rate of payment was tied to future growth metrics. Baiju ultimately spent less than $235 million on the deal, said one of the sources, who, like others, asked not to be named for personal reasons.

The coding class has drawn criticism from many for its misleading claims and aggressive approach to court students. Whitehat Jr. famously sued some of those critics, a move that drew further backlash from the firm. He later withdrew the charges. Whitehat Jr. founder Karan Bajaj (pictured above) has left a year after accepting Baiju’s buyout.

Byju’s — which counts Sequoia India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tiger Global, B Capital, UBS and General Atlantic among its backers — has spent the past year addressing the many criticisms leveled at the company. Baiju said last month that its salespeople don’t visit students’ homes to talk to their parents, and the company is now testing whether children’s parents can sign up for the service before they sign up.

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