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Exclusive: Edtech Startup upGrad Increases Its ESOP Pool By 28%

Exclusive: Edtech Startup upGrad Increases Its ESOP Pool By 28%

upGrad has increased its ESOP scheme (UPGRAD Education-Employee Stock Option (New) Scheme, 2015) from 17,25,810 options to 22,25,810 options

The revised ESOP pool will now be worth INR 427 Cr from INR 331 Cr, a 29% rise in terms of value

In August, upGrad became the country’s fourth edtech startup to achieve unicorn status after raising $185 Mn in funding

Edtech unicorn upGrad has increased its employee stock option program (ESOPs) pool by 28% from its existing 17,25,810 ESOP options (UPGRAD Education-Employee Stock Option (New) Scheme, 2015) to 22,25,810 options. The revised ESOP pool will now be worth INR 427 Cr from INR 331 Cr, a 29% rise in terms of value.

According to upGrad’s July filing, the edtech unicorn had priced each equity share at INR 1,919.62 (including premium).

We have taken the above-mentioned figure to calculate the change in worth of the ESOP pool.

In August, the Mumbai-based edtech giant became India’s fourth edtech startup to enter the celebrated unicorn club after closing $185 Mn from Temasek, International Finance Corporation, and IIFL at a valuation of $1.2 Bn. 

In April this year, upGrad closed its first external round worth $120 Mn from Singapore-headquartered Temasek.

Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, along with Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh, upGrad offers higher education courses in collaboration with various universities. It claims to have a million users globally, of which 45,000 are paid learners. 

Before closing the unicorn round, upGrad acquired a video learning platform Impartus for INR 150 Cr. Back then, upGrad had announced that Impartus will be rebranded as upGrad Campus and integrated into upGrad as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

In 2020, upGrad had acquired recruitment and staffing solutions startup Rekrut India and Bengaluru-based coaching institute The Gate Academy (TGA). While Rekrut helped it enter the recruitment and staffing solutions market, TGA marked upGrad’s entry into the test prep market.

ESOP is a way for wealth generation for employees. For employers, ESOP is a way to retain a valuable employee. Lately, we are seeing startups tweaking their ESOPs scheme, thus making it more lucrative.

Earlier this year, in a first, Unacademy issued $40 Mn in stock options for teachers on its platform. Last week, social commerce platform Meesho launched a new ESOP scheme – MeeSOP Program, where employees, irrespective of their tenure/seniority will be able to convert a maximum of 25% of their annual CTC into ESOPs.