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Proptech Unicorn NoBroker Announces INR 32.2 Cr ESOP Buyback

Proptech Unicorn NoBroker Announces INR 32.2 Cr ESOP Buyback

95 former and current employees were given the opportunity to liquidate

The development comes 4 months after NoBroker entered the unicorn club after raising a $210 Mn Series E funding round

Lately, ESOPs have gained significance as a way to help retain talent in startups. In 2022 alone, Indian startups have reported ESOP buybacks worth $53 Mn

Bengaluru-based proptech unicorn NoBroker has completed its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback worth INR 32.2 Cr, the company said in a statement. 

As part of the buyback program, the company’s 95 former and current employees were given the opportunity to liquidate their stock options, which constitutes 57% of total employees who currently have ESOPs.

Founded by Akhil Gupta, Saurabh Garg and Amit Kumar in 2014, NoBroker turned unicorn in November 2021 after raising $210 Mn in a Series E funding round from General Atlantic, Tiger Global and Moore Strategic Ventures. The round took the total funding raised by the startup to $424 Mn. 

NoBroker’s real estate rental platform claims to provide verified listings from property owners, without brokerage fees. The startup also provides property-related solutions such as — NoBroker Pay, for rent and maintenance payments; NoBroker Home services, for painting, cleaning and more; and NoBrokerHood, which aims to simplify visitor management within residential accommodations and also offers a seller’s marketplace for verified users.

Now, the startup is also focusing on strengthening the other verticals such as home loans and legal services.

The proptech unicorn is yet to file its FY21 financials; however, according to its filings accessed via Tofler, it reported a revenue of INR 79 Cr in FY20, up from INR 30 Cr in FY19. For the same period, it also reported an EBITDA loss of INR 98 Cr, up from INR 46 in FY19.

With 500K+ transactions (properties being either sold or rented) every year, NoBroker’s core platform returns the highest revenue. The startup has over 16 Mn+ users on its platform and NoBrokerHood, alone, is present in 10K+ residentials.

The Indian real estate sector is expected to reach $1 Tn in market size by 2030, up from $200 Bn in 2021, contributing 13% to the country’s GDP by 2025, according to the India Real Estate Industry report.

Aside from the traditional brokerage system in India, NoBroker competes with digital property platforms such as MagicBricks, Housing.com, NoBroker, 99Acres, Makaan.com among others.

ESOP Buybacks Trend Among Indian Startups In 2022

Along with raising funds, ESOP programmes essentially help retain talent in the startups, thus, building employees’ faith in such companies. With the announcement of its ESOP buyback programme, NoBroker has now entered the list of a large number of startups rolling out such plans.

In the last two months, 10 startups across sectors announced ESOP buyback programmes worth $53 Mn. A few names include neobank startup Jupiter, used car marketplace Cars24, edtech startup LEAD, supply chain startup Bizongo. 

Fintech unicorn, slice announced its first ESOP buyback worth $8.6 Mn in February 2022. Home interiors startup HomeLane announced a $3.6 Mn ESOP buyback program in January.

The trend of ESOP buybacks this year seem to be consistent as of 2021, which saw names such as Swiggy, Unacademy, FirstCry and Zerodha opting for ESOP buybacks and rewarding their employees.