Higher education startup SunStone announces its first ESOP buyback worth Rs 18Cr

Gurugram-based higher education startup Sunstone has announced its ESOP (employee stock ownership) buyback, led by WestBridge Capital, which saw a total transaction of Rs 18 crore.

Twenty of Sunstone’s current and former employees who have been with the company since its early days benefitted from this buyback. As a part of this buyback policy, 57% of the vested shares held by the employees taking their exit were eligible for selling.

Founded in 2019 by Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru, Sunstone is a higher education service provider that partners with academic institutions to help upskill their students for employability. The startup works with corporates to develop industry-ready programmes for both postgraduate and undergraduate students.

“This first-ever ESOP buyback is one of our ways to acknowledge their hard work and efforts towards building Sunstone. The youngest member of Sunstone who benefited is 26 years of age, and we want all our employees to grow with the organisation,” Ashish Munjal said.

“With an employee-first attitude, Sunstone wants to create wealth for its 700+ employees, and we are committed to creating more such opportunities in the future,” added Ashish.

In August last year, Sunstone raised $35 million in a funding round to expand into new programmes with a key focus on undergraduate tech programmes. That round was led by its existing investor WestBridge Capital with participation from Alteria Capital.

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