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CRED completes $1.2 Mn worth ESOP buyback as part of its Series C round


Credit card bill payment app CRED has completed its first ESOP buyback program from existing and former employees. This is the first ESOP liquidity program initiated by CRED in its two years of operations. 

According to CRED, employees who hold vested stocks were eligible to sell up to 50% of their vested ESOP shares in the company.

The $1.2 million worth ESOP buyback is a part of CRED’s 81 million Series C round which was led by partners of DST Global in November. Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, General Catalyst, Sofina, Coatue and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet also invested in this round. The startup claims to have reached a post-money valuation of $806 million.

“As we raise funds to support our next phase of growth, it’s important to acknowledge the role that employees have played in our success. We are committed to enabling wealth-creation opportunities for them and have allocated 10% of our cap table allocated for ESOPs even at the Series C stage. I am grateful for their conviction, as well as that of our investors, and am focused on creating value for them as the product and business evolves,” founder of CRED Kunal Shah said in a press statement.

CRED saw a surge in popularity during the 13th edition of Indian Premier League where it was an official partner after signing a three year deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI. 

Currently, it claims to have over 1,300 brands as part of the platform and doubled its consumer base to over 5.9 million. According to CRED, it processes 20% of all credit card bill payments in India and over 35% of premium credit cardholders in India are on its platform.

Last year, CRED also rolled out two new lending products — CRED RentPay and CRED Cash. While CRED RentPay allows its users to pay recurring household expenses and bills, and monthly rent payments using credit cards, CRED Cash offers an instant credit line, through a pilot with IDFC First Bank.

Over the past 12 months, more than a dozen startups have gone for ESOP buyback or liquidation program to reward their former as well as existing employees. The list includes Swiggy, Zerodha, Urban Company, Unacademy, BharatPe, Meesho, CarDekho and MPL.

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