Ola expands ESOPs pool to Rs 3,000 crore ahead of IPO

Bengaluru: Ola is expanding its pool of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) to Rs 3,000 crore and giving employees an additional Rs 400 crore in stocks in the run-up to its initial public offering (IPO).

“The allocation rewards Ola’s high-impact employees and will lead to long-term wealth creation for them,” the ride-hailing company said in a press statement on Wednesday.

“Our expanded ESOP programme, along with the fresh stock allocation of Rs 400 crore, enables our key talent to participate in long-term wealth creation opportunities. It will also reinforce their sense of ownership and align their growth with that of the company,” Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal.

The company announced earlier this month that private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Singapore government’s investment fund Temasek
had bought shares worth $500 million from existing investors.

Meanwhile, Ola Electric, which is setting up a 500-acre FutureFactory near Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu,
recently started bookings for its upcoming electric scooter. The company
signed a $100-million, 10-year debt financing agreement with Bank of Baroda to fund the first phase of the factory, which is expected to eventually have an annual capacity of 10 million vehicles.

The mobility sector has been severely affected by the pandemic. Last month, we reported that app-based bus aggregator
Shuttl was looking to be acquired, having laid off around 40 employees and cut salaries. In February, scooter-rental firm Bounce
laid off 40-60% of its staff. Its rival Vogo, which is backed by Ola,
had laid off 50-55 employees in March 2020.

After the first wave of the pandemic last year, ride-hailing volumes had started to increase but were severely hit by the second wave. The mobility sector
had clocked around 78 million rides in March 2021, 69% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to consulting firm RedSeer.


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