Sunstone, one of India's leading higher education start-ups, has announced ESOP buyback to generate wealth for its employees. Led by WestBridge Capital, the buyback program has witnessed a total transaction of Rs 18 crores.
Indian start-up employees made over $335 Mn through ESOPs in 2021, and this has been a great way to retain and hire talent for startups over the years. Continuing the streak, 20 of Sunstone’s current and former employees who have been with the company since its early days are a part of the pool that have benefitted in this buyback. As a part of this buyback policy, 57% of the vested shares held by the employees taking their exit were eligible for selling.
Sunstone in August 2022 had raised $35 million in Series C funding led by WestBridge Capital. Founded by Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru in the year 2019, Sunstone had raised $28 million in Series B in October 2021.
In a first, the ESOP buyback was led by WestBridge Capital and Sunstone has ambitious plans to expand the ESOP pool.
Commenting on the same, Ashish Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Sunstone said, “At Sunstone, we have always believed that our greatest strength is our employees. This first-ever ESOP buyback is one of our ways to acknowledge their hard work and efforts toward building Sunstone. The youngest member of Sunstone who got benefited is of 26 years of age and we want all our employees to grow with the organization. With an employee-first attitude, Sunstone wants to create wealth for its 700+ employees and we are committed to creating more such opportunities in the future. This has been a great year for us as we have witnessed growth in a largely turbulent market and are very excited to usher in the next stage of revolutionizing India’s education system, which will require perseverance and team effort.”
The company, with a presence across 35+ cities in 40+ institutions, is building capacities to expand into 100 cities across the country. Established with a vision to transform the higher education space, Sunstone strives to introduce accountability, accessibility, and quality education for all. By making education outcome-focused and industry-relevant, Sunstone aims to become the de-facto choice for every student who wishes to pursue a meaningful education.