Supply chain platform Locus today announced that it has designated $4 Mn for its ESOP buyback. The buyback is at par with the primary of the Series C fundraise.
Both current and former employees will be able to vest their stock options. This is the second such buyback by the company.
“The reason we’ve come this far is because of the hard work and perseverance of our teammates. This ESOP buyback is a way of showing our gratitude by helping them in their wealth creation journey. Our buyback will happen at the Series C price without any discount, unlike most buybacks,” said Nishith Rastogi, CEO, Locus. “We will also have a rolling plan to facilitate new buyback for teammates in the future as well. This will ensure continuous value creation for team members and motivate them to fulfill our shared dream of building the operating system of logistics,” he added.
Locus had recently raised $50 Mn in Series C funding led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures LLC and existing investors Tiger Global and Falcon Edge. Noted angel investors such as Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau, Cred CEO Kunal Shah, Sierra Atlantic founder Raju Reddy, and SAP South Asia former President and MD Deb Deep Sengupta also participated in the round.
Founded in 2015 by Geet Garg and Nishith Rastogi, the company uses deep machine learning and proprietary algorithms to offer supply chain solutions to customers across sectors like ecommerce, retail, egrocery, CPG/FMCG, home services, home deliveries, 3PL, transportation, and B2B distribution. It claims to power deliveries across North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East, ANZ, and the Indian Subcontinent.
In recent years, the employee stock option plan, or ESOP, has emerged as a widespread practice among big corporate houses and startups, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Essentially a kind of employee benefit/profit-sharing plan, ESOPs are often leveraged to ensure retention or reward, and further ensure tax benefits for companies and their owners.
Some of the companies in India, which have reaped huge benefits from ESOPs, include Flipkart, Udaan, Grofers, Zerodha, FirstCry, BharatPe, Urban Company, Messho, Razorpay and Moglix while global giants like Amazon, Alibaba and Facebook have done the same. Recently even higher education platform UpGrad had announced its first ESOP liquidity event worth INR 220 Cr ($29.5 Mn) that benefited 37 of its early team members.