Funny Money

Flipkart’s $100-million attempt to make ‘funny money’ serious

Flipkart's $100-million ESOP buyback will help it attract and retain employees better while putting pressure on peers in the unicorn club to provide similar opportunities for their ESOP-holders to cash out

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Flipkart’s recent announcement had everyone sit up and take notice.

For the first time, an Indian startup had announced a corpus of $100 million (Rs 650.57 crore) to buy back shares from close to 6000 current and former employees. This got India’s largest e-commerce company brownie points for helping its employees realise the value of employee stock options (ESOPs) in the fourth and the most significant buyback event since 2013. The inclusion of former employees possibly turned their peers green with envy.

Other members of the Indian ‘unicorn’…

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