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Exclusive: Paytm expands its ESOP pool to $600 Mn; VSS owns $2.2 Bn worth stake


Paytm is the most valued startup in India with a $16 billion valuation and this also reflects in its employee stock option or ESOP scheme and the personal fortune of the company’s founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma. 

According to regulatory filings, Paytm has altered its ESOP scheme and added 242,904 options to the existing pool. With this, its current ESOP pool consists of 2,409,428 equity options. 

Fintrackr’s estimates show that the company has added Rs 456 crore worth of options in this exercise and the updated Paytm ESOP pool valued at about Rs 4,520 crore or $604 million, making it one of the largest ESOP pools among Indian startups.

As per Fintrackr, ESOPs earmarked for employees at Oyo are worth Rs 4,300 crore or $580 million whereas Byju’s ESOPs holding stands at Rs 3,000 crore or $400 million.

While Oyo slipped from its decacorn status in August 2020 and currently its valuation stands at a little over $9 billion after the latest tranche of $7 million, Byju’s is the second most valued startup in the country after Paytm. It recently raised close to $1 billion at an estimated valuation of $15 billion.

Filings show that Paytm boss Sharma holds 90.51 lakh equity shares in the company. As per Fintrackr’s calculation, Sharma’s stake in the company that he founded 12 years ago is currently valued at $2.2 billion or Rs 16,990 crore.

Entrackr‘s detailed queries sent to Paytm on Saturday did not elicit any response. We’ll update the post in case they do.

Besides Sharma, other startup founders such as Byju’s Raveendran and his family’s stake in the company is valued at over $3.5 billion. Raveendran along with his wife and brother owns around 25% stake in the company which is valued at about $15 billion.

Oyo’s founder Ritesh Agarwal reportedly owns around 30% stake in the company which was worth around $2.2 billion as of July 2020.

Paytm had turned into a unicorn in 2015 with backing from SoftBank. So far, it has raised over $3.3 billion from several investors including T Rowe Price, Ant Financials and Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF), among others.

While Sharma had said in January that Paytm could turn profitable in the ongoing fiscal, the company had recorded a marginal increase of 1.5% in its operating revenue to Rs 3,232 crore in FY20 from Rs 3,281 crore in FY19. 

According to Fintrackr, it had controlled its losses to the tune of 30.33%  to Rs 2,385.3 crore in FY20 from Rs 4217.2 crore in the previous fiscal.

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