Whatfix, a provider of digital adoption solutions, announced on Tuesday that it had completed its first employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback of USD 4.3 million (Rs 32 crore).
Under the buyback, all current and former employees will be able to liquidate up to 35% of their vested Esops.
According to a senior company executive, the per-share price will be based on the company's non-discounted valuation of around $600 million at the time of its Series D. It thus means that the price per share offered to the employee will be the same as the price sold to the incoming investor in the Series D round.
However, according to the company, more than 80% of the eligible 175 employees have chosen not to liquidate their vested shares. Whatfix also stated that employees could liquidate up to 35% of their vested ESOPs. According to the company, the shares have been repurchased.
“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,” Khadim Batti, chief executive of Whatfix told ET in an exclusive interaction.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Eight Roads Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Dragoneer Investment Group, F-Prime Capital, and Cisco Investments invested USD 90 million (approximately Rs 656 crore) in Whatfix last month. To date, Whatfix has raised USD 139.8 million through this method.
Whatfix raised $32 million in a Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital India in February of last year. Eight Roads Ventures, Cisco Investments, and F-Prime Capital are among its other backers.
Whatfix, founded by Vara Kumar and Batti, offers businesses in-app guidance and performance support for web applications and software products.
The startup is now a leading Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), and this success is due to the outstanding work of our employees. Even as the world faced unprecedented challenges, our employees turned this period into one of our strongest," Whatfix CEO and co-founder Khadim Batti said.
He went on to say that employees must grow alongside the company.
"Through this ESOP buyback, we are thanking and rewarding our employees for their continued belief in our success," said Batti.
Whatfix joins many of the companies that have announced Esop buybacks, allowing employees to build wealth.
In the last three years, companies such as Udaan, Flipkart, Cred, Oyo, Unacademy, Meesho, CarDekho, Razorpay, Swiggy, Byju's, Moglix, Cars24, MPL, Firstcry, BharatPe, Pharmeasy, and Zerodha have done Esop buybacks.
Batti stated that the company would announce buybacks more frequently to help employees build wealth and feel rewarded.
“We would want to do it more frequently and not necessarily align it to fundraising cycles,” he said.
Over the last two years, the company has tripled in revenue and headcount while opening three new offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. Whatfix currently employs 500 people in six global offices.
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