Swiggy, the food delivery and quick commerce player, said its employees will have the option to receive liquidity of up to $23 million against their employee stock ownership plan (Esop) - its first milestone as a part of its two-year liquidity programme.
Over 900 people will be eligible to participate this time. The next round of Esop liquidity will be held in July 2023 and likely have over 1,800 eligible employees.
Apart from buyback, a clutch of growth and late-stage startups also expanded their ESOP pool in 2022. The list includes brokerage-free real estate platform NoBroker, DealShare, Money View, Purplle, LEAP, Wiz Freight, Ather Energy, Ninjacart, Ecom Express, Pine Labs and VeGrow among others.
Interestingly, these buyback programs, coming at a time when listed peers of Swiggy in this instance like Zomato have seen tremendous value erosion do raise the question about the valuation metrics being applied for buybacks. It no longer seems like the metrics would necessarily mirror or be close to the fair market valuation by public markets possibly.