Money & Banking

Razorpay announces 3rd largest ESOP sale of $10 million for 750 current, former employees

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 04, 2021

ESOP buybacks in the start-up industry have been a source of significant wealth creation for employees

Fintech unicorn Razorpay, on Thursday, announced its third ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) buyback program worth $10 million (₹73 crore) for its 750 employees.

All existing and former employees of Razorpay who hold vested stocks will be eligible to sell up to 33 per cent of their vested ESOP shares. Sequoia Capital India and GIC, two of Razorpay’s key investors will be the buyers involved in this development.

ESOP buybacks in the start-up industry have been a source of significant wealth creation for employees but it is not something that companies usually offer as an annual event. Razorpay is one of India’s youngest start-ups to have facilitated the ESOP buyback program consequently for the last three years.

The share sale is expected to benefit employees across roles - from team leaders to support executives to administrative staff. Razorpay’s 1,350 people team raised their $100 million Series D funding in October last year and the ESOP buyback plan is a reflection of the faith that the company and its employees have instilled in each other.

Also read: India attracted $2.7 billion in fintech investment in 2020: KPMG

“We’ve always said and believed that our employees are the reason for every success that we have had. They turned an unprecedented year into one of the strongest years for Razorpay. And this ESOP Buyback is our little way of giving back to the employees for their contribution and a form of wealth creation for all, as it is important for us to ensure that our employees also grow along with the company. Our current and former employees, even as young as 23, will be eligible for this incentive, irrespective of rank. The compensation will be rolled out to all our employees, be it software engineers, product managers, customer experience agents, or administrative staff. I believe there’s no better time than now to recognise the team for all their efforts and having trusted us in this journey,” said Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder, Razorpay.

Razorpay’s first liquidity event through ESOP encashment occurred in November 2018 for its 140 employees then. The transaction was done at a 50 per cent premium to the valuation. The second ESOP sale event occurred in November 2019, during which approximately 400 employees were eligible. To date, the company has awarded ESOPs to 1,000 employees, with current employees holding a majority share.

Also read: Mastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital payments more accessible for MSMEs and startups

Currently powering online payments for more than 5 million small and large businesses such as Facebook, IRCTC, CRED, Zerodha, Indigo among others, Razorpay has clocked in a healthy growth rate of 40-45 per cent month-on-month and is geared to increase its merchant count to 10 million by next year.

Razorpay registered 3X growth in payment volume through SMBs that went online for the first time during Covid in 2020.

Published on March 04, 2021

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