ShareChat Expands ESOP Pool Size To INR 2,375 Cr

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ShareChat has added fresh options worth INR 900 Cr (about $110.5 Mn) to its ESOP pool to reward new hires

The social media startup platform has joined the list of top ten unlisted Indian startups in terms of ESOP pool size

Earlier this year, ShareChat closed a $520 Mn funding round at a valuation of $5 Bn

Bengaluru-based social media platform ShareChat has expanded its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) pool size to INR 2,375 Cr (about $292 Mn), sources told Inc42. 

The Google-backed social media platform, which earlier had an ESOP pool size of INR 1,475 Cr (about $181 Mn), has added fresh options worth INR 900 Cr (about $110.5 Mn) to its ESOP pool.

Post this, Flipkart, OYO, CRED,  BYJU’S, Ola, and Unacademy are the only unlisted Indian startups with ESOP pool size bigger than ShareChat. 

The startup has created the new ESOP options to reward new hires, one of the sources said.

In the last few years, a large number of Indian startups have started offering ESOPs to attract new talent and retain the existing ones. Last year, ShareChat announced its first ESOP buyback programme worth $19 Mn (INR 140 Cr) in which about 200 existing and former employees with vested options were eligible for participation. The startup allowed employees to sell 100% of their vested ESOPs during the buyback programme in which it was the sole buyer. 

The expansion of ESOP pool size comes five months after the startup closed its $520 Mn funding round at a valuation of $5 Bn. It raised the funds in two tranches. While it raised $266 Mn from Alkeon Capital, Temasek, HarbourVest, Moore Strategic Ventures and India Quotient late last year, Google and Times Internet joined as new investors in June this year and infused the remaining amount along with Temasek.

ShareChat became the first Indian social media startup to enter the unicorn club early last year. In April last year, the startup raised $502 Mn in its Series E round led by Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global, along with participation from Snap Inc, Twitter, and India Quotient, among others.

Earlier this year, ShareChat announced the merger of Times Internet-backed short video platform MX Taka TakTak with its own short-video platform Moj. The deal was pegged at more than $600 Mn. The combined platform was expected to have 100 Mn creators, 300 Mn monthly active users and nearly 250 Bn video views. 

ShareChat, founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Singh, and Farid Ahsan, positions itself as an Indic language social media platform. The startup has 400 Mn monthly active users across its platforms ShareChat and Moj.

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