BharatPe launches ESOP buyback scheme

BharatPe launches ESOP buyback scheme
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28 Jul, 2020

Resilient Innovation owned QR code-based payments app BharatPe has launched an initiative to buy ESOP shares.

All ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) holders have been given the option to sell shares from their first vesting back to BharatPe, the company said in a statement.

New Delhi-based BharatPe has 6% (more than $25 million) of its overall equity allotted to the ESOP pool. All employees are given an ESOP grant along with an appointment letter.

These ESOPs carry zero strike price and the vesting is front ended with 25% on year 1 and thereafter 2% every month. The employees are not required to exercise the ESOPs on leaving and can time it with a liquidity event anytime up to 5 years.

“In Indian ecosystem, ESOPs have been one of the most abused and misunderstood instruments. Verbal grants, back ended vesting and last-minute changes to even documented ESOP grants have eroded employee faith in ESOPs,” Ashneer Grover, co-founder and CEO of BharatPe said.   

”BharatPe ESOP grant is like a cheque in the hands of employees. We are encouraging our employees to bank their first ESOP cheque and enjoy the value they’ve created as cash in bank. BharatPe ESOP is not a mere promise – it is an appreciating currency. $1 = Rs 70; 1 BharatPe ESOP = Rs 7,00,000,” Grover added.

Founded in 2018 by Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe claims to serve over 40 lakh merchants across 35 cities. It processes around five crore unified payments interface (UPI) transactions a month.

Read: BharatPe employees flag layoffs on social media; Co says underperformers let go as part of annual appraisal

The company recently rolled out an incubation programme BharatX to solve merchant and business problems. It raised fresh capital in February, when new investor Coatue Management, a technology sector focused hedge fund, and returning investor Ribbit Capital invested $75 million in the company as part of the Series C funding round.

In the fintech space, the company competes with payment solutions providers such as Flipkart-owned PhonePe and Paytm.