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PhonePe announces ESOP buyback worth Rs 135 Cr


Digital payments platform PhonePe has announced ESOP buyback worth Rs 135 crore for its top leadership and other employees. This is the maiden ESOP buyback for the Bengaluru-based company in the ongoing calendar year.

According to PhonePe, the company’s founders will not be participating in the buyback whereas its top leadership can sell upto 10% of their vested stock and all other current employees can sell upto 25% of their vested stock.

This is a part of the $200 million ESOP buyback program announced by the Walmart-controlled company in February this year. The company had created a holistic ESOPs program for 2,200 employees starting at a minimum of Rs 3.5 lakhs.

PhonePe has joined the long list of growth and late-stage startups which also bought back ESOP held by their employees. Browserstack, Udaan, Unacademy, ShareChat, Razorpay, CRED, MPL, Licious, Classplus, HealthifyMe and most recently Meesho bought stocks from their employees. SoftBank-backed Meesho said that its liquidity program worth $5.5 million will be applicable for all eligible current and former employees with vested stocks.

As per Fintrackr’s data, startups across stages have bought back ESOP worth around $100 million during the first half of the ongoing calendar year. The trend of ESOP buyback in the latter half indicates that the total ESOP buyback may cross the $200 million mark by the end of the year.

PhonePe has been maintaining a leadership position in the UPI ecosystem since last December with a month on month growth. With over 335 million registered users, PhonePe recently claimed to have processed over 2 billion transactions on its platform. On the UPI payments railroad, it processed 1.93 billion transactions worth Rs 3,65,845.39 crore in October. Meanwhile, its closest rival Google Pay had registered 1.45 billion transactions amounting to Rs 2,87,491.46 crore during the same month.

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