iZooto, the world’s leading owned audience marketing platform, has announced its maiden ESOP buyback programme worth USD 1.35 million for all shareholders including current and former employees.
Valued at 40x the issue price, 40 percent of iZooto’s employees with vested options were eligible to participate in this process. Qualifying ESOP holders were allowed to liquidate up to 25% of their vested units based on a specified scheme. As a bootstrapped startup, iZooto has always functioned on the principles of frugality and capital efficiency. This approach has allowed the company to stay profitable for four consecutive years, including in 2020 – the height of the pandemic. Over the last six months, iZootoo has shown a growth of 40 percent.
Commenting on the announcement, Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Partner at global SaaS accelerator Upekkha, and a mentor to iZooto founders, said, “The iZooto founders have set a new bar for a Value SaaS company, that is building a software product business capital-efficiently, delivering value to customers and as a consequence creating real wealth both for their employees and investors early in their journey. Upekkha is proud to be the only outside shareholder in iZooto and are excited to see them issue dividends and do an ESOP buyback from employees – incredibly rare at an early-stage business.”
iZooto’s unique position as a profitable startup has enabled its philosophy of value creation to extend to all its stakeholders – including its employees – ultimately culminating in its first ESOP buyback programme. Its ESOP pool now covers 72 percent of the organisation. In an additional windfall for shareholders, iZooto announced a dividend of INR 275 per share prior to Diwali.
“iZooto’s employees have been the bedrock of our success from the very start. Our profitable growth over the last four years has only been possible because of the dedication, diligence, and passion of our entire team,” said Neel Kothari, CEO of iZooto. “We’ve always believed in creating value for all of our stakeholders. Since we found ourselves in the unique position of being profitable so early in our lifecycle, we were determined to give every employee the chance to share in the wealth creation and grow with us.”
As the world’s leading owned audience marketing platform, iZooto empowers publishers to regain their spot in today’s attention economy. Through its unique business model, the company provides a first-of-its-kind combination of MarTech and AdTech, allowing publishers to drive audience engagement and retention while simultaneously boosting revenue growth. iZooto’s clients portfolio includes some of the largest media brands in countries including India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, resulting in a market leadership position in South East Asia and India. The company also plans to expand its presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and North American markets in the coming years.