B2B startup Udaan offers ESOP liquidity worth Rs 175 crore to employees

Move comes amid a huge surge in the firm’s food, lifestyle and electronics business, with the pandemic having accelerated adoption of e-commerce


B2B startups | Esops

Peerzada Abrar  | 

Udaan, India’s largest business-to-business e-commerce platform, is offering ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) liquidity plan worth about Rs 175 crore among its employees, according to sources. The development comes at a time when the Bengaluru-based firm is witnessing a huge surge in business across its food, lifestyle and electronics business amid the pandemic which has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce.

In a letter addressed to the employees, Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar, and Vaibhav Gupta, who founded Udaan in 2016, said that leading investors have shown interest in taking part in the organisation’s journey ahead through a secondary stock buy-out-programme.

“We want to take this opportunity to reward our employees who have worked relentlessly over the last many months and years with a meaningful wealth creation opportunity through an ESOP liquidity offer 2021,” said the letter, seen by Business Standard. “We are inspired by your resilience and courage.”

All active employees who are not serving notice and who have vested stocks as of March 31, 2021, will be eligible to participate in this programme.

“The journey of Udaan would not have been possible without all of you and your significant contributions,” said the letter. “Our ESOP plan and programme mirror this belief.”

The founders thanked the employees for stepping up through this pandemic to enable businesses and support colleagues. “Even as many of you felt the impact of this much closer home either due to impact on your own health or of a loved one, many of us have lost a loved one to this menace.”

Udaan said the employees have worked relentlessly to transform the way trade is done in the country and empowering the businesses of Bharat. “We want to take this opportunity to reward our employees for their continuous effort and significant contribution with a meaningful wealth creation opportunity through an ESOP liquidity programme,” said the spokesperson. “We would like to thank them for their resilience and dedication to their jobs in these unprecedented times.”

B2B e-commerce players including Udaan are expected to disrupt $1 trillion consumer retail market in India, said Bernstein, the US-based research powerhouse in a report.

Categories such as food, lifestyle and electronics business in the year 2020, together accounted for over 1,550 sellers from across India, primarily Bharat (tier 2 and tier 3 cities and rural India), registering a sales turnover of more than Rs 1 crore each on the Udaan platform during last year. Udaan’s daily food business volume has crossed 8,000 tonnes, making it the largest grocery player in the country

Udaan has a national reach to 15 million manufacturers, 25-30 million retailers, 10-12 million institutional businesses like offices, schools and HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and cafe). The aim is to empower small businesses with technology, financial inclusivity, and supply chain capabilities to compete in an increasing tech and digital world. Udaan itself competes with players such as Flipkart Wholesale, Amazon and Reliance’s JioMart, which are also betting big to tap B2B e-commerce especially in Bharat (tier 2 and tier 3 cities and rural India).

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