One of OYO’s existing investors is set to buy back the shares from its employees which are speculated to be worth over ₹50 crores. This will provide the employees ready cash in exchange for the equity. More than 250 employees currently hold ESOPs in the hotel chain and are likely to benefit from the deal.
OYO has not named the investor. Until September this year, OYO was valued a little less than $1 billion. However, it raised $1 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners which valued OYO at $5 billion. This clearly indicates that OYO employees are now worth 5 times as much as they were three months ago.
The buyback deal will distribute the ₹50 crores amount to 250 employees which means that each employee will receive an average of ₹20 lakhs. However, the amount received by each employee may differ depending on their stake. Some ex-employees will also be rewarded for their loyalty and the value they created over the last four years in their service at the firm. OYO will calculate the eligibility of awarding ESOPs based on an individual’s role, long-term potential and past contribution.
Earlier this year startups like Paytm, Ola, Flipkart, Urban Clap, Razorpay and Swiggy has followed the same path of buying back shares from their employees. In January this year, Paytm employees received million dollars in cash in a buyback deal among which an office boy ended up received ₹20 lakhs. In 2016, Citrus Pay bought back shares from their employees and many ended up receiving enormous cash.