PhonePe, BharatPe fight over ‘Pe’; Early Diwali for Zerodha employees with ESOPs

PhonePe, BharatPe fight over ‘Pe’; Early Diwali for Zerodha employees with ESOPs
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25 Sep, 2019

Payment fintechs PhonePe and BharatPe are in legal tangle over the right to use ‘Pe’ in their names. Online brokerage Zerodha is offering Rs 200 crore stock options to employees.

PhonePe sues BharatPe over ‘Pe’, cites trademark infringement

Salman Khan-endorsed BharatPe and Aamir Khan-endorsed PhonePe are at loggerheads over the use of ‘Pe’ in their names, The Times of India reported.

Walmart-owned Flipkart’s PhonePe filed a lawsuit against Ribbit Capital-backed BharatPe in May against alleged trademark infringement of the suffix ‘Pe’ by the latter, both in text and graphics, the report said.

“The present suit has been filed seeking an injunction restraining infringement of trademark, passing off, damages, etc,” read the court filings accessed by the Times.

Both the digital payment companies are leading players in the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform along with Paytm.

Earlier this month, PhonePe was valued at $7 billion in a report by global financial services company Morgan Stanley.

BharatPe has more than 1.5 million merchants on its platform, processing more than 21 million transactions a month, worth more than $83 million, co-founder Ashneer Grover had said in an interview to TechCrunch last month.

Etrading platform Zerodha offers ESOPs, ringing in an early Diwali

Online trading company Zerodha has issued an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) worth more than Rs 200 crore for 850 employees, The Economic Times reported.

Zerodha offers the employees an option to vest 33% of their shares after the first year without any mandatory holding period for three to five years, the report said. 

“We also offer credit to our employees against these shares at an interest rate of 6-7% per annum, in order to cater to their sudden liquidity requirements,” Nithin Kamath, chief executive officer, Zerodha was quoted as saying by ET.

The Bangalore-based fintech startup has created a fund of Rs 30-50 crore to buy back shares in 2020, the report said.

OYO forms joint ventures

Oravel Stays, the parent company of Gurugram-based OYO Hotels & Homes, has set up two joint ventures (JV) in India with SB Topaz controlled by SoftBank, The Economic Times reported.

The two JVs are Mountainia Developers and Hospitality and MyPreferred Transformation and Hospitality.

Mountainia Developers and Hospitality has been set up to acquire hotels-related real estate assets, ranging from land parcels to fully-developed properties, the report said, citing regulatory filings accessed by paper.vc.

The second JV, MyPreferred Transformation and Hospitality, will manage the business of renovation and refurbishment of hotels and other similar assets in India.