Indian social media startup ShareChat, on Wednesday (September 23), infused another $14 Mn in its ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) pool. As of now, the company’s ESOP pool stands at $35 Mn.
ESOPs are used as an employee benefit plan, to give employees an ownership interest in the company. The participants in an ESOP plan also receive tax benefits.
ShareChat also announced 50% additional ESOPs as a bonus for existing employees holding ESOPs in the company. Further, ESOPs have been extended to all employees on the company’s payroll, including the administrative staff who were not holding them earlier.
“The decision was taken to recognise their hard work behind the incredible growth achieved by both ShareChat and its recently launched short video platform, Moj,” said a company’s press release announcing the development.
ShareChat is a content sharing platform available in 15 Indian languages. It claims to have 160 Mn monthly active users (MAUs), while its short video sharing app Moj has more than 80 Mn MAUs.
“The foundation of our existence has been purely our people, combined with their passion and energy. The additional ESOP is a measure of small appreciation for this commitment and a recognition of our team’s efforts. The new pool will keep us well placed for rewarding our teams in the future as well,” said ShareChat cofounder and CEO Ankush Sachdeva.
ShareChat offers ESOPs to its qualified employees, equally vested over four years. In case any employee leaves the organisation, the person leaves with the vesting percentage and continues to enjoy the benefit of owning it as ESOPs without any defined timelines.
Amid the financial disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, several Indian startups such as OYO, Paytm, ixigo and BharatPe, among others, offered ESOPs to their employees. For some of these companies, ESOPs were a measure to reward high-performing employees, while for others, they were to reward the entire workforce for choosing to continue working with the company, even as pay cuts and layoffs happened across departments.