PharmEasy buying back ESOPs worth $3 Mn; ensuring benefits to its employees


The online healthcare pharmacy venture PharmEasy is planning to obtain the release of Employee Stock Ownership plans (ESOPs) worth $3 million ensuring confidence in its employees during the Covid-19 outbreak. Dhaval Shah is the co-founder of PharmEasy and considered team spirit as the core strength of their e-pharmacy startup. He further added, “We believe that our team is our biggest strength and as a part of our current transaction we have decided to buy back ESOPs from early team members in active employment amounting to $3 million.”

PharmEasy announced this objective during Diwali to show gratitude towards their staff to stand strong amid the pandemic. The e-pharmacy startup joined the list of online startups that worked on the same strategy. The Mumbai-based e-pharmacy startup is the most recent venture to enter the list with e-trading platform Zerodha, the social commerce platform Meesho, the food delivery giant Swiggy, and the online education startup Unacademy in buying back the ESOPs.

These are a few of the strategic moves by the firms to be a competitive entrant in the market against the e-retail giants such as Amazon and Reliance. The ESOP allowance will be benefiting almost 40 employees.
The online pharmacy venture gave an estimate of around $700 million last year. The startup also hitched up an amount of $220 million by the leading capital investors such as Temasek in 2019. The Mumbai-based venture was also backed up by the capital firms Everstone Private Equity Fund, Fundamentum Partnership, Eight Roads, Canadian pension fund CDPQ, Orios Venture Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

PharmEasy ensuring benefits to its employees

PharmEasy understands how Covid-19 might have affected their employees, and also wanted to offer incentives to their staff members for all their toil. The co-founder of PharmEasy Dharmil Sheth said, “We raised one round, so we decided to allocate some portion of it to do a buyback and incentivize people for all they’ve done so far and we’ll continue to do so. We’re in a sector that’s fortunately not affected, but our employees’ families might be affected and facing issues.”

The Co-founder further added that they are committed to their employees, and have realized their staff’s full engagement in their projects even during such dynamic situations. Their ESOPs valued for almost 5 to 7 percent of the overall shareowning. Their buyback plan will surely curb the operational losses that they might face amid Covid-19.

Post raising the huge sum of $220 million, the startup also acquired 20% shares in its contending market Medlife. This agreement with its rival startup was approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
In the month of October, the startup was in news with an investment of around $100 million with a $1.2 billion investment plan by the major capital ventures such as Naspers, a South African media-tech company, and TPG, a private venture in the United States.

The food delivery startup Zomato will be buying back shares worth $7-9 million while Meesho will go for a $5 million plan. Earlier, Zerodha announced its plan for Rs. 7,000 Crore.
The e-healthcare startup PharmEasy was started in 2015 and provides services and products for Healthcare. In addition to the online product service, it has also successfully booked the lab test in around 1000 cities across the country. Covid-19 has surely brought many e-startups into the race.
The e-medicals startups are already in a rush after Reliance Retail acquired the majority stake in the e-pharmacy startup Netmeds.