Ecommerce and payments platform Paytm garnered major traction during the demonetisation drive. Cashing in on the wave, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma managed to gatecrash the Indian billionaire’s club as per China-based research firm Hurun earlier this month. He also managed to debut on the Forbes’ list of billionaires.
But Paytm’s CEO is not the only one basking in the glory. Employees of the company have reaped the benefits by selling their shares in Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications.
Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) have become a common phenomena among companies to retain top talent. They act as an attractive proposition for employees and have a huge importance in the corporate sector in today’s time.
About 47 employees of Noida-based company have reportedly sold shares worth about $15.3 Mn (INR 100 Cr) to both internal and external buyers, according to company executives who declined to name the buyers.
A company representative told ET, “The company has over 500 employees who hold close to 4% shares in the parent company.”
Earlier this month it was reported that Alibaba led a $200 Mn round in Paytm’s recently formed ecommerce unit. According to the filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) reviewed by Inc42, the round in Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, will be led by Alibaba Singapore E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which will invest $177 Mn (INR 1,182 Cr), along with $23 Mn from SAIF Partners.
This isn’t the first instance where investors are consolidating the holdings of their business. Earlier this month, Reliance Capital sold around 1% stake in Paytm for $41.2 Mn (INR 275 Cr) to China’s Alibaba Group. At the same time, as per a report by Deal Street Asia, SVB (Saama Capital) and SAP Ventures also sold their combined stake, about 3.3%, in Paytm to Alibaba Group and Ant Financials.
Alibaba and its payments affiliate Ant Financial currently hold about 45% stake in One97 Communications.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, along with early investor SAIF Partners and the above two entities now hold about 95% stake in the company.
As per the report, over the past two years,over 100 employees have sold their shares. Last year, Paytm executives sold part of their ESOPs to the company’s external Board members like former Google and Uber executive Amit Singhal, WhatsApp’s Neeraj Arora, and Ruchi Sanghvi, etc.
Paytm’s response to an emailed query was awaited at the time of publication.
(The development was reported by ET.)