Hyderabad: Qapita, a Singapore and India-based equity management firm today announced that it has completed 100% acquisition of Pune based ESOP Direct in a full cash transaction. This will see Qapita secure full ownership of ESOP Direct’s operating entities from its shareholders. With this acquisition, Qapita will become a market leader in this region catering to both listed and unlisted clients, expanding its customer base in India and Southeast Asia to more than 1,200 customers. The combined entity will also manage more than US$ 12 billion in Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs), with more than 130,000 employee owners.
With this acquisition, Qapita will now expand its product and engineering team to more than 100 professionals while further cementing its presence in major start-up hubs such in India such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai, in addition to its Southeast Asian presence in Singapore and Jakarta, while doubling its employees from 100 to more than 220.
“The incredible team at ESOP Direct pioneered stock compensation serving leading companies in this region. This acquisition is an important step to executing our vision of creating one unified platform for all equity matters, in our bid to build rails for the private markets. Complementing knowledge leadership with cutting edge technology will allow us to serve customers through the lifecycle, from incorporation to liquidity events, to IPOs and beyond. We look forward to enabling our customers in creating more equity owners in this region and making every one of them count”, said Ravi Ravulaparthi, CEO & Co-Founder of Qapita.
ESOP Direct is a pioneer in end-to-end solutions in the equity compensation domain in the Indian market. Its service offerings encompass the entire lifecycle of Employee Share Plans from plan conceptualisation, design, documentation, on-going plan administration, employee support, compliance, valuation, and reporting. Over its existence of over two decades, ESOP Direct has designed over 1,000 plans and it manages over 500 plans on its proprietary platform, My ESOPs. As a thought leader, ESOP Direct has also been involved in policy making initiatives for the Indian regulators and has introduced several innovative solutions within this domain.
Commenting on the acquisition, Harshu Ghate, Cofounder and Managing Director of ESOP Direct said, “The coming together of our two businesses would complement each other’s strengths. It would help our clients and employees to deliver downstream financial transaction services through a unified platform. This step is a logical progression of our current business model and in line with the global trends in this domain. Our deep domain expertise and thought leadership will now be leveraged beyond the Indian market. We will continue with our endeavor to structure pathbreaking solutions to ensure success of Employee Share Plans of our clients ”
“We are extremely excited about the potential that this partnership with ESOP Direct will bring. With market leadership within this region and along with our investment in technology, Qapita is well positioned to create one unified platform for all equity matters from CapTables, ESOPs, to compliance and accounting matters, ultimately leading to liquidity solutions. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our investors for their continued support in executing our team’s vision,” said Lakshman Kanamarlapudi, COO and Co-Founder of Qapita.
Qapita expects the value of private securities in this region to exceed US$1 to 1.5 trillion with the presence of 200 to 250 unicorns within the next few years, and that scalable digital solutions will be critical for such an ecosystem to thrive. Creating a digital ledger for management of equity will be the first step towards creating a Qapita marketplace for liquidity as it estimates that more than US$250 billion in equity will require liquidity solutions.
Qapita is backed by leading venture capital investors and financial institutions including Vulcan Capital, East Ventures, MassMutual Ven