Whatfix, a digital adoption solutions platform that last month received $100 million in a Series D round backed by SoftBank, has launched the first employee stock ownership plan (Esop) repurchase programme worth $4.3 million (Rs 32 crore). Under the buyback, all current and past workers will be able to sell up to 35 percent of their vested Esops.
According to a senior business official, the per-share price will be based on the company’s non-discounted valuation of about $600 million at the time of its Series D.
This means that the staff will be allocated the same price per share as the incoming investor in the Series D transaction.
Employees’ shares are typically bought back at a discount by corporations.
Khadim Batti, chief executive of Whatfix told ET in an exclusive interaction, said
“Of the 175 employees eligible for the buyback, only around 35 have chosen to avail it. This is because the employees believe in the growth (of the company) and would want to stay invested,”
The business raised $90 million in primary financing in June, with a minor amount ($10 million) going to secondary transactions.
Whatfix earned $32 million in a Series C investment round headed by Sequoia Capital India in February last year. Cisco Investments, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capita are among its other investors.
Whatfix was founded by Vara Kumar and Batti to give organizations with in-app coaching and performance help for online apps and software solutions.
Whatfix is the latest in a long line of firms to announce Esop buybacks, which allow employees to build wealth.
In the previous three years, companies including Cred, Unacademy, Udaan, Oyo, Flipkart, Meesho, CarDekho, Swiggy, Razorpay, Byju’s, Cars24, Moglix, MPL, Firstcry, Pharmeasy, BharatPe, and Zerodha have done Esop buybacks.
According to research published by ET last month, the start-up industry benefited from both tech and non-tech C-Suite changes.
Batti stated that the business will announce buybacks more frequently in order to assist employees to build money and feel appreciated.