CityMall buys back Esop for $1.3 million.

Social commerce platform CityMall said it has conducted its first employee stock ownership plan (Esop) buyback program for $1.3 million.

She added that more than 50 employees from her senior management and core team participated in the buyback programme.

CityMall, backed by investors such as Accel, Elevation Capital and General Catalyst, raised $75 million in March. Three months later, the company fired about 191 employees to adjust to the changing macroeconomic environment.

“During this time, we were able to execute an Esop buyback, which is kind of a testament to the fact that we are in a good position now. The layoff has nothing to do with fundraising or the runway; it was a restructuring because we intend to reset our operating model,” he said. Co-founder and CEO Angad Kekla of ET.

Founded in 2019 by Kikla and Naisheel Verdhan, CityMall is a community commerce platform for cities, towns and small villages that sells groceries, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) as well as some home and kitchen related products.

It is present in 22 cities and towns across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi – NCR.

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CityMall’s ‘community group buying’ model works with small entrepreneurs known as ‘community leaders’.

Kilka said it works with about 15,000 community leaders, who act as marketing and logistics partners in the dark e-commerce cities.

They’re working on a commission-based model where they use their social network to invite friends and family to form a shopping team to qualify for discounts, help them make purchases across a variety of categories, and manage last-mile deliveries.

The company said it has grown 30% month-on-month since its inception and that it serves more than one million customers.

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