Kristal.AI, a digital-first global private wealth management platform, announced an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) liquidity program worth over $1 million on blockchain for all eligible existing and former employees.
Employees with vested Kristal.AI shares were given the option to partake in this exercise and opted for liquidity in exchange for their shares, it said in a press release.
Kristal.AI plans to conduct such liquidity exercises on a yearly basis to facilitate wealth creation opportunity for both existing and former employees. This opens a dedicated route to help employees unlock liquidity and optimize their financial assets.
Kristal.AI's private markets vertical, Kristal Private Markets (KPM), facilitated demand for this transaction by allowing investors to participate in the company's growth story. In comparison to a traditional fundraise, this allowed investors to access the company's shares at a lower minimum price, it said in a press statement.
The overall demand for investing in Kristal.AI has exceeded the total supply of shares within 10 days of launch, the statement added.
Kristal.AI’s decision to reward employees stems from the company's rapid expansion in the last few years, it said. The company has reached a significant milestone in December 2021, when it acquired over $400 million as assets under management (AUM). Since January 2020, the platform quadrupled its AUM and its user base has expanded seven-fold, resulting in a 22 times increase in its annual recurring revenue.
Speaking about the ESOP liquidity program, Asheesh Chanda, Founder & CEO, Kristal.AI said, “The company has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last five years and in December 2021, we crossed a significant milestone. We have acquired over $400 million as assets under management, which has grown 4-fold since January 2020. With a yearly ESOP liquidity program, we want to help our employees in planning their financials better and reap the benefits of their hard work by wealth creation. Also, in a first such program on blockchain, Kristal.AI-enabled investors to access the company’s shares at lower minimum price as compared to a conventional fundraise.”
The company also plans to roll out the ‘ESOP Liquidity Program as a Service’ to companies who are looking to provide such liquidity options to their employees and early investors. Stakeholders in an unlisted company no longer have to wait for the company to go public or for a major investor to come in. With Kristal’s ESOP liquidity service, early phase to late-stage companies would be able to provide easy liquidity solutions to their employees or shareholders without cluttering their cap table, Chanda added.