Gourmet meat startup Licious has opened its maiden Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) monetisation option for its employees. The soonicorn’s blue-collar workforce, along with other eligible employees, will be able to monetise their ESOPs.
Licious currently has over 3500 employees across different disciplines and functions. The buyback option worth INR 30 Cr will benefit over 600 employees, providing real-time wealth creation opportunities.
Founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious is a consumer food company functioning on a farm-to-fork business model. The company owns the entire back-end supply chain, which includes stringent cold chain control that helps it maintain the quality and freshness of each product from the initial stages — procurement, processing, storage — until it reaches the customers.
Speaking about this development, Hanjura said, “We have always believed in providing employees collective ownership of the organisation’s destiny. All our policies reflect that. The ESOP program enables this core belief. Earlier this year, Licious had issued grants to more than 1100 employees, recognising their contribution to the company. Now, it is time for us to enable the monetisation process. It brings us immense pride as this is one of the largest coverages as compared to the current industry practices.”
In the last financial year, the company claims to have registered a 500% growth, with an average monthly order volume of two million.
As of 2020, the Indian meat industry was valued at $30 Bn. Licious is witnessing growing competition from other Indian startups like FreshToHome, Zappfresh, and TenderCuts. It is now also facing competition from players like Venky’s, Nandu’s and Suguna Foods, which have a huge offline presence and are currently working on becoming omnichannel.
Additionally, major D2C companies like BigBasket, Reliance JioMart, and Amazon have also ventured into the meat and meat products space.
Last month, Licious raised $192 Mn in its series F funding, which they plan to deploy into investment in technology, supply chain, quality and customer experience improvement, and expanding presence in India.