On Tuesday, the news came out that Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has pledged five percent of his personal holdings in Paytm Mall for the employee stock options (ESOP) pool.
According to a report on Times of India, Vijay Shekhar Sharma would add close to $50 million worth of stocks to the ESOP pool, which will account for 10 percent of the overall company.
Speaking on the matter, Vijay stated to the media,
I have given parts of my holding towards the employee share pool. I had done something similar long time back for One97 Communications and I have done this now for Paytm Mall.
The TOI article also highlights Vijay’s share to be 19 percent in Paytm Mall, according to the regulatory filings for financial year 2017. With this move, Vijay’s share falls to 14 percent in the entity.
Just last month, media reports suggested that Paytm Mall has held initial talks with Japanese internet conglomerate, SoftBank for a $500-600 million funding round.
This particular news comes a week after e-commerce leader Flipkart announced that it had completed its ESOP repurchase programme by disbursing over $100 million to over 3,000 past and present employees of The Flipkart Group in a buyback offer.
Initiating this in October, Flipkart gave all eligible current and former employees of Flipkart, and group companies Myntra, Jabong, and PhonePe, an opportunity to sell to the company a part of their vested ESOP units.
Media reports also suggest that Paytm had transferred 800 of its staff to Paytm Mall and since then has been hiring to take the overall count to 2,000 employees.
Early in February this year, Paytm had separated its e-commerce business and rebranded it as Paytm Mall. The company had also raised $200 million in investments from Alibaba and SAIF Partners in the same month.