NEW DELHI: Digital payments platform PhonePe on Friday announced a buyback of employee stock options (ESOPs) worth Rs 135 crore. The buyback offer follows a three-tier model, based on seniority, a statement said. The company’s founders will not be participating in the buyback, while the top leadership can sell up to 10 per cent of their vested stock, it added. All other current employees can sell up to 25 per cent of their vested stock. The company currently has over 2,500 employees. “Last December, we launched a new PhonePe ESOPs plan and issued ESOPs to 100 per cent of our employees across levels, functions and grades. All these employees will complete the one year cliff of their stock vesting next month, so it’s a great time to offer some liquidity to everyone,” PhonePe Head of HR Manmeet Sandhu said. Sandhu added that almost 75 per cent of PhonePe’s current workforce is eligible to participate in the current buyback offer, and “for most it’s the first time in their careers that they’ve either owned ESOPs or had a chance to liquidate them”. In December last year, PhonePe launched its ESOPs program, under which it allotted ESOPs to all its 2,200 employees starting at a minimum of Rs 3.5 lakhs, cumulatively worth Rs 1,500 crore. PhonePe has over 335 million registered users in the country. Using PhonePe, users can send and receive money, recharge mobile phones, make various kinds of payments, and invest in gold and silver. It had forayed into financial services in 2017. PhonePe is also accepted at over 22 million merchant outlets across India.