CRED raises $81 million; initiates ESOP buyback worth $1.2 million
By Edil Corneille
Bengaluru-based CRED has raised USD 81 million in its Series C round at a post-money valuation of USD 806 million. Existing CRED investor DST Global led the round, along with Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst. In addition, Sofina, Coatue and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet also invested.
In the process, existing and former employees have liquidated their ESOPs, collectively worth USD 1.2 million (INR 9 Crore). The ESOP buyback was completed on Jan 01, 2021. This is the first ESOP liquidity program initiated by CRED, just two years into its operations. Employees who hold vested stocks were eligible to sell up to 50 per cent of their vested ESOP shares in the company.
“As we raise funds to support our next phase of growth, it’s important to acknowledge the role that employees have played in our success. We are committed to enabling wealth-creation opportunities for them and have allocated 10% of our captable allocated for ESOPs even at the Series C stage. I am grateful for their conviction, as well as that of our investors, and am focused on creating value for them as the product and business evolves,” says Kunal Shah, Founder, CRED.
In two years, the CRED community has grown to over 5.9 million high-trust individuals with a median credit score of 830. The platform processes 20 per cent of all credit card bill payments in India. Over 35 per cent of premium credit card holders in India are on CRED, with members spending 2X of the average credit card user in India. This premium member base is said to have made CRED an attractive proposition for hundreds of merchants and financial institutions intending to engage the creditworthy community. The recently launched CRED Pay offering takes the CRED experience to platforms of online merchants, who offer instant, one-click credit card payments.
One in five waitlisted individuals work to bring their credit scores above 750 and become members, validating CRED’s potential in enhancing financial well-being.
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