Sharechat employees will make $19 million out of the latest ESOP plan, as growth spikes in the absence of TikTok

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Sharechat employees will make $19 million out of the latest ESOP plan, as growth spikes in the absence of TikTok
Business Insider
  • About 200 existing and former employees will be eligible to participate in the ESOP buyback plan.
  • ShareChat has updated its ESOP exercise price, which will allow the employees to buy each share at ₹1.
  • The company entered the unicorn club in April 2021, after raising $500 million at a valuation of $2.1 billion.
Mohalla Tech, the parent company of vernacular social media platform ShareChat and short video app Moj, has announced its first employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback programme worth $19.1 million (₹140 crores at current prices). Nearly 200 existing and former employees with vested options will be eligible to participate in the process.

The company also announced that it has revised its existing vesting schedule. Under this, qualified employees will be allowed to vest 25% of ESOPs in the first year, followed by 8.25% every quarter. In case any employee leaves the organisation, the individual can still keep all the vested options and continues to enjoy the related benefits. Further, it has revised its ESOP exercise price from ₹1551 to ₹1, meaning that eligible employees can buy each share at ₹1.

The firm’s chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder Ankush Sachdeva attributed the success of ShareChat and Moj to the employees that have been working in the company for years. “We are presently witnessing an exciting growth journey and following an ambitious plan. Therefore, we have aligned our ESOP policy accordingly to reward our people who will be instrumental in paving the way for the next level of growth,” he added.

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The announcement comes only two months after ShareChat raised $500 million at a valuation of $2.1 billion. The Series E investment was led by Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global, along with the participation from Snap Inc, Twitter and India Quotient. Overall, the company has raised about $824.8 million since its inception in 2015.

ShareChat has also acquired five businesses over the years. This includes Clip App, Elanic, Circles Internet, Memer and HPF Films. Four of these acquisitions were announced in 2020 to enhance the platform’s content offerings.

The company seems to have witnessed an exponential growth in 2020, due to growing digital adoption during the pandemic and the ban on Chinese apps like TikTok. The company claims to have recorded a 166% spike in its monthly active users base during the pandemic from 60 million in March 2020 to 160 million in November 2020.

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Moj, Sharechat’s youngest offering, has garnered over 120 million monthly active users within a year of its launch. Like ShareChat, Moj is available in local languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali and more.


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