Merchant payment and lending network company BharatPe has given its ESOP holders an option to sell back shares from their first vesting back to it.
In a statement, the company said that with the scheme titled ‘ESOP Cheque Cash Karo’, employees will be able to enjoy liquidity upfront which will establish ESOP as a valuable and liquid currency.
BharatPe has 6 per cent (over $25 million) of its overall equity allotted to the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) pool. All employees are given the ESOP grant along with the appointment letter.
“ESOPs carry zero strike price. The vesting is front ended in favour of employees with 25 per cent vesting on year 1 and thereafter 2 per cent every month. The employees are not required to exercise the ESOPs on leaving and can time it with a liquidity event anytime up to 5 years,” it said.
Ashneer Grover, Co-Founder & CEO, BharatPe, said: “In Indian ecosystem, ESOPs have been one of the most abused and misunderstood instruments. Verbal grants, back ended vesting and last-minute changes to even documented ESOP grants have eroded employee faith in ESOPs.”
BharatPe ESOP grant is like a cheque in the hands of employees, he added.
“We are encouraging our employees to bank their first ESOP cheque and enjoy the value they’ve created as cash in bank,” Grover said.