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FleetX and Rooter introduce ESOPs plan for employees

Employees’ equity stock options (ESOPs) have been a kicker for many early employees who join startups. Stories of employees of companies such as Paytm, Ola, Byju’s, and Oyo, among many others making fortunes through ESOPs are strengthening the general faith in ESOPs.

While large scale and growth staged companies expand their ESOPs pool to attract and retain talents, early-stage startups are also following the stalwarts. Fleet management and predictive analytics platform Fleetx and sports engagement platform Rooter have launched their ESOPs plans.

The Beenext-backed firm has launched ‘Fleetx ESOP scheme 2020’, shows regulatory filings. The newly introduced ESOP pool will include 4,292 stock options comprising the same number of equity shares. According to Fintrackr’s estimate, Fleetx’s ESOP pool is currently valued at Rs 5.2 crore. The number of eligible employees under the FleetX ESOPs scheme couldn’t be ascertained. 

The two-and-half-year-old Fleetx primarily offers a suite of software-based products to help fleets of all sizes to monitor and optimize their daily logistics operations. Early this year, the platform had received $2.8 million as a part of its Series A round. 

Separately, the sports engagement platform Rooter has expanded its ESOPs pool to Rs 4.9 crore. The company has amended its existing ESOP policy to increase its existing pool from 383 equity options to 1,422 equity options, regulatory filings show. 

The expansion of ESOP pool by Rooters has come two months after the Delhi-based company had raised a $1.7 million pre-series A funding round led by Paytm and leAD Sports, among others in May 2020. It offers live fantasy game, match prediction, and P2P engagement via integration of technology and social gaming. 

The expansion of ESOPs pools by early-stage startups is a good sign for the ecosystem. Employees who shape the success of the company deserve to share the fortunes in the event of secondary transactions and exits. Several hundred employees have already made significant upside through secondary transactions in many large-scale and growth-staged companies. 

Allocation and buyback of ESOPs would attract more young population towards startups. This is a welcome trend that is likely to be adopted by the majority of early-stage and upcoming startups. However, companies need to be transparent to strengthen the faith of employees in ESOPs. 

Setting an example, Jitendra Gupta’s Jupiter recently rewarded employees by approving the adoption of Employee Stock Appreciation Rights or ESAR Plan 2020. SARs are a type of bonus compensation given to employees that is equal to the appreciation in the value of the company’s shares over a pre-decided period. Unlike ESOPs, employees don’t have to invest their own money to subscribe to the stock options but receive the sum of the increase in stock or cash. 

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