Mumbai: Meesho is undertaking a $5.5-million ESOP buyback — its third so far — for all eligible current and former employees with vested stocks, even as it looks to build enough firepower to take on the likes of Amazon and Flipkart in India’s ecommerce market. The social commerce platform, which recently raised $570 million in a funding round led by Fidelity Management and B Capital Group, repurchased employee stock ownership plans worth $6 million in two previous rounds — $1 million in February 2020 and $5 million in November 2020 — with across-the-board participation. Separately, Google is in talks to invest in Meesho at a valuation of $4.9 billion, ETtech reported on Oct. 22.
“We continue to see meteoric progress not only as a business but also in our efforts to democratise internet commerce for everyone,” Vidit Aatrey, founder and chief executive officer of Meesho said in a statement on Friday. “As we hire across the board and scale our tech and product talent by 2.5X, ESOPs will give employees high ownership, while providing more opportunities for wealth creation.”
Meesho is among the several consumer internet startups that have recently undertaken ESOP buybacks worth a cumulative $545.8 million. These firms include Swiggy, Zomato, Unacademy, Razorpay, Moglix, Zetwerks, Zerodha, PhonePe, Udaan, Cred, Paytm, Acko and Licious.
The abundance of ESOP buyback programmes has employees asking to be included in the pool upfront, even if the cash in hand is less to begin with, industry stakeholders had told ET previously.