Kirana tech- startup Khatabook raises $100 million, announces ESOP buyback . This funding round was led by US-based venture capital firms Tribe Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures. Other investors who took part in the round include Alkeon Capital and existing investors B Capital Group, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, RTP Global, Unilever Ventures and Better Capital. It also saw participation from former and current general partners of Andreessen Horowitz, including Balaji Srinivasan and Sriram Krishnan, who invested in their personal capacities. Besides the funding, Khatabook will also be investing in $10 million worth of employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) shares to acknowledge and reward employees, ex-employees and early investors who contributed to the company’s growth. Eligible employees will be able to sell as much as 30% of their vested options, the company said.
With the fundraise, Khatabook has also expanded its ESOP pool to $50 million. “The first phase of our journey was enabling digital transformation by building a tech ecosystem for Indian MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). Now that we have created a widely accepted digital platform, the next step will be digitally-enabled financial services for small businesses. We are humbled by our investors’ confidence in our mission to help local businesses succeed by providing them with the right digital empowerment,” said Ravish Naresh, chief executive officer and co-founder, Khatabook. The company will use a part of its fundraise and launch a financial service offering for itrs merchant partners and to benefit them.