Online learning firm Unacademy on October 15 said that it is buying back shares from current and former employees worth Rs 25-30 crore, the latest in a series of quickly maturing companies which are giving employees some liquidity and rewarding their loyalty.As many as 145 current and former employees are expected to exercise their option to sell their Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs), given to early employees who join a startup as part of their salary. Unacademy did not comment on whether the company is buying back shares or its newest investor - Japan's SoftBank - is buying them.Employees whose vested ESOPs are valued at Rs 40 lakh or more can sell 25 percent of their vested options, while those whose shares are valued between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 40 lakh can sell up to Rs 10 lakh worth of shares. Those below Rs 10 lakh can sell all their shares, Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal told employees in a Slack message.All options vested till December 10 will be counted for the buyback. Unacademy had also done a smaller ESOP buyback of about Rs 2.5 crore in September last year.For many years, Indian startups rarely created cash wealth from ESOPs for employees unless there was a large and rare acquisition or sale. However this is changing over the past year, with growth-stage firms such as online stock broker Zerodha, payments firm Razorpay, home service startup Urban Company and others offering ESOP exits relatively early in the company's lifecycle, compared to previous years.“Thank you everyone for playing an important role in helping us reach where we have reached. This is a small gesture from Unacademy's side for your tremendous efforts,” Munjal told employees.
Original Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/unacademy-to-buy-back-shares-worth-rs-25-30-crore-5967321.html