BYJU’S’ deal with Lionel Messi on hold amid mounting challenges

The decision to terminate the contract with Lionel Messi early or renew it later remains uncertain due to BYJU'S' liquidity crisis.

BYJU’S’ deal with Lionel Messi on hold amid mounting challenges

Monday February 05, 2024,

2 min Read

Amid mounting challenges, BYJU’S has reportedly put on hold its deal with football icon Lionel Messi, who was announced as the first global brand ambassador for its social impact arm, Education For All.

Announced in November 2022, the agreement between Messi and BYJU’S was set for three years, involving an annual sum estimated between $5 million and $7 million.

BYJU'S has compensated Messi for the initial year, The Economic Times reported, adding that the decision on terminating the contract early or renewing it later remains uncertain due to the edtech firm’s liquidity crisis and other significant concerns.

YourStory has reached out to BYJU’S for a comment.

“I chose to partner with BYJU’S because their mission to make everyone fall in love with learning perfectly aligns with my values...I hope to inspire young learners to reach and remain at the top,” Messi had said earlier while announcing the agreement.

Last year, BYJU’S had not extended its endorsement agreement with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan after its expiration in September. It was reported that due to the issues faced by the edtech firm, Khan’s team was uncertain about continuing its association with the brand.

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In a separate development, BYJU’S Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran, in a letter, noted that the company has cleared the salaries of its employees for January after a delay.

These developments come amid growing challenges for BYJU’S—which was once the poster child of the Indian startup space. The edtech firm, facing a severe liquidity crunch, launched a $200 million rights issue last week to finance current capital expenditures.

Last week, in a letter seen by YourStory, BYJU’S management team claimed the company secured commitments exceeding 100% of the intended amount for the rights issue.

BYJU’S is also at loggerheads with some of its key investors who, last week, issued a notice to Think and Learn Pvt Ltd—the parent company of BYJU’S—seeking an extraordinary general meeting to address ongoing concerns.

The group of investors are “deeply concerned about the future stability of the company under its current leadership and with the current constitution of the Board,” they said in a statement.

Hitting back at the investors, TLPL asserted that the shareholder’s agreement does not grant investors the right to vote on CEO or management changes.

Meanwhile, BYJU'S Alpha—a wholly-owned subsidiary of the edtech firm—has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the US Court of Delaware.

Edited by Kanishk Singh