BharatPe to launch ‘Merchant Shareholding Program’ for its merchants
By Leandra Monteiro
BharatPe, one of India’s fastest growing FinTech companies, announced the launch of the world’s first Merchant Shareholding Program (MSP) for its merchant partners. This first-ever, disruptive program is being designed with the objective of providing an opportunity to the company’s millions of offline merchant partners to become part equity owners of BharatPe.
The company will be rolling out this program to its 7.5 million+ existing merchant partners and extend this to new merchants who join the BharatPe family in the future. BharatPe will be creating an equity pool structure worth upto US$100 mn for MSP to be allotted to eligible merchants over the course of the next 4 years. The company is aiming that the MSP pool will be worth close to US$ 1bn by the time it goes public.
While offline retailers are a key contributor to the growth of numerous FinTech companies, including global behemoths, there is no existing program that empowers their partners to create wealth for themselves, as the FinTech company grows. The MSP program is designed to address this gap and ensure that BharatPe’s merchant partners can create wealth for themselves, as the company scales newer heights in the times to come.
Speaking on the announcement, Ashneer Grover, Co-Founder and Managing Director, BharatPe, said, “At BharatPe, we like to keep our ears close to the ground. While we as startup community celebrate the coming of age with multi billion dollar IPOs, there is resentment brewing elsewhere. Millions of consumers and merchants are feeling left out of the digital / startup value creation in India. The folks who contribute to MAUs / DAUs / Revenue of startups and therefore the valuation don’t get any equity upside or even allocation in IPOs. We will change it at BharatPe by making our merchants part equity owners and giving them the IPO upside through first of its kind program in the world.”
Since BharatPe started out, merchants have been the focal point of everything the company built. While there are numerous large Indians as well as global digital and FinTech companies, who work closely with the offline retailers including some who have already gone public, BharatPe is the first company to have launched an initiative like MSP for its merchant partners. This reiterates the company’s commitment to positively impact lives of all its merchant partners, who have played a key role in the adoption of digital payments and the growth of the company.
Added Sumeet Singh, General Counsel and Head- Corporate Affairs and Corporate Strategy, BharatPe, “Over the last few years, ESOPs have emerged as one of the most lucrative programs for startups looking at attracting talent, giving high returns to employees willing to invest their time and energies in building a company grounds up. The Merchant Shareholding Program is the first-of-its-kind initiative designed to create wealth for our loyal merchant partners who intend to be with us for the long haul. We attribute a large part of our success to the offline retailers and with this program, our intent is to step up our association with merchants and not only focus on building a long-lasting association with them, but also create financial wealth that can empower them to pursue their larger aspirations.”
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