What public and listed Indian startup founders earn


CarTrade’s Vijay Sanghvi made him the highest paid founder with an annual compensation of INR 5.21 Cr

While Ritesh Aggarwal receives compensation of INR 1.06 Cr from OYO, his salary at OYO Singapore, since 2019 as Global CEO, has been increased to INR 4.45 Cr. raised

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, whose Paytm is aiming for the largest initial public offering in the country valued at INR 18,300 Cr, takes home INR 4 Cr annually

Along with the celebrations came an encouraging season of startup IPO boom. The second half of 2021 has brought good news to the Indian startup ecosystem, and it’s not about the rating game. Success is no longer measured by how quickly new kids become unicorns in the block or how much money they raise from well-known VCs.

Of course, this is one of the reasons why India made history. The country saw the birth of a record 33 unicorns that year and an unprecedented week in April (week two, more precisely) when six companies joined the coveted unicorn club.

But startups hitting Dalal Street and traversing their IPOs are a whole new phenomenon. The ecosystem is no longer the land of high cash burns and poor exit opportunities that once forced many companies to consolidate or sell out early before reaching their full potential.

The tide turned when the restaurant aggregator and grocery giant Zomato, supported by well-known investors such as Fidelity Group, Tiger Global, Mirae Asset Management, Info Edge and others, applied to go public. Around this time, three other startups were looking for SEBI approval for their IPOs. And all four sailed through.

Fashion e-commerce platform Nykaa and payment bank Fino went public last week, during Policybazaar this week. While startups who submit their DRHPs (Draft Red Hering Prospectus) to SEBI give an insight into their IPOs, balance sheets and legal action taken against them, we also learn what these founders earn.

Let’s look at how much money the founders of the recently listed and upcoming startups are making.

Zomato | Deepinder Goyal

Zomato has become one of the most recognizable names over the years. The 24/7 delivery of groceries along with essential items during the pandemic has resulted in them finding a place in most of our smartphones.

The startup submitted its DRHP for INR 8,250 Cr IPO in April and went public on July 14, 2021.

In 2008 Deepinder founded Goyal together with Pankaj Chaddah Zomato. The company has grown in over 10,000 cities around the world in 13 years.

Goyal was appointed Managing Director and CEO of the company for the next five years until March 23, 2026, with a Base salary of INR 3.5 Cr. However, Goyal voluntarily waives his remuneration for a period of 36 months from April 1, 2021.

Auto trade | Vinay Sanghvi

In August of this year, the online automobile marketplace CarTrade went public. The startup went public to raise INR 2,000 Cr through the public market.

CarTrade was founded in 2009 by Vinay Sanghi, a former chief executive officer of Mahindra First Choice and Rajan Mehra, the former country chief of eBay. CarTrade is an Indian multichannel car marketplace that operates through platforms such as CarTrade, Carwale, CarTradeExchange, Shriram Automall, Adroit Auto, Auto Biz and BikeWale.

According to the DRHP, Sanghvi takes INR 5.21 Cr. home with me every year, making it the highest-paid founder among the founders who went public or who submitted their DRHP.

MobiKwik | Bipin Preet Singh, Upasana Taku, Chandan Joshi

The fintech startup MobiKwik submitted its DRHP in July and wants to raise INR 1,900 Cr on the public market. The startup received approval from SEBI to go public early last month. The company also stepped into that Unicorn club after some of its employees have exercised Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs). The second round was led by former Blackstone India boss Mathew Cyriac.

The startup was founded in 2009 by Bipin Preet Singh and his wife Upasana Taku and jointly owns about 34.52% of the shares in the company.

While Singh is the company’s CEO and receives INR 4 Cr compensation, his wife Taku is the startup’s COO and receives the same salary of INR 4 Cr annually.

Chandan Joshi joined Mobikwik in 2018 and is now CEO of Payments at Mobikwik. His annual remuneration is INR 3 Cr.

Payment | Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Paytm is another name that has become a household name due to its fast and reliable digital transaction rate. The company filed its DRHP for INR 16,600 Cr IPO, already the largest public offering in the country, only to further escalate it to INR 18,300 Cr.

The startup is expected to hit the public market in a price range after Diwali Set at 2,080-2,150 yen per share.

After a MCA filing accessed by Inc42, Sharma’s compensation for FY21 and FY22 was INR 4 Cr, including payments for lease, rent and housing. In fiscal 2020, he took home INR 3 Cr along with allowances and other bonuses.

Nykaa | Falguni Nayar

Mumbai-based fashion e-commerce platform Nykaa went public on October 28, priced between INR 1,085 and INR 1,125. The startup intends to raise funds in the range of INR 4,554.03 Cr – INR 5,351.92 Cr through the public market.

It is interesting that Nykaa is the only startup that goes public with promoters holding more than 51% of the shares in the company.

Falguni Nayar, a former banker, founded Nykaa in 2012 and currently has a fixed salary of INR 5 Cr annually.

Ixigo | Aloke Bajpai, Rajnish Kumar

Ixigo is an online travel portal that offers flight, bus and train tickets as well as listed hotel prices across the company. Le Travenues Technologies, which operates ixigo, submitted its DRHP to SEBI in August to raise INR 1,600 Cr from the public market.

Ixigo is one of the few startups that is profitable and that goes public. The startup was founded in 2007 by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar and is supported by Elevation Capital, Sequoia Capital, GIC, among others.

Bajpai, Chairman, MD of ixigo, and Kumar, Co-Founder, Non-Executive Director and Group CPTO of ixigo have one annual remuneration of INR 1.2 Cr each.

Policy Bazaar | Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal, Naveen Kukreja

PB Fintech, which operates the online insurance platform Policybazaar and online credit aggregator Paisabaazar, went public this week (Nov. 1) at a price range of INR 940-980. The offer of shares was subscribed 16.59 times, with offers for shares. The offer attracted bids totaling nearly $ 7.53 billion (INR 56,093.64).

According to the DRHP, Yashish Dahiya, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Policybazaar, receives annual compensation of INR 2.01 Cr, while Alok Bansal, Co-Founder and CFO of Policybazaar, receives INR 1.56 Cr per year. Naveen Kukreja, Co-Founder and CFO of Paisabazaar, has an annual salary of INR 1.22 Cr.

OYO | Ritesh Agarwal

Hospitality Unicorn OYO filed its prospectus with the Market Authority in October and intends to raise INR 8,430 Cr through the public market. OYO’s draft of the Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) stated that the startup will issue new shares valued at Cr INR 7,000 and an offer to sell – selling shares by selling shares from existing investors – valued at Cr INR 1,430.

Founded by Ritesh Agarwal, one of the youngest founders in the startup ecosystem, the startup is supported by well-known investors such as Softbank, Microsoft, Airbnb, Lightspeed Ventures and others.

Under its terms of employment, Agarwal is entitled to gross compensation, including fringe benefits from Oravel Stays, is INR 1.06 Cr.

In addition, his salary at OYO Singapore, as Global CEO since 2019, has increased to INR 4.45 Cr from January 2021, bringing his annual compensation to INR 5.51 Cr.

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