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2021 Findings

State of ESOPs in Southeast Asia

A region-first report on the intersection of startup equity and human capital.

Startup founders across Southeast Asia reveal the State of Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) and its impact on talent.

  • Founders are implementing ESOPs for the right reasons. The majority use ESOPs to retain (87%) and attract talent (79%), or to build a good workplace culture with a sense of ownership (86%).

  • Most startups offer stock options to team members outside of senior management (65%). This is worth celebrating and should be further encouraged. Also, we learnt the critical role investors and employees alike play to encourage founders to start ESOPs.

  • However, there needs to be greater awareness and understanding of ESOPs, especially around buy backs and top ups. Reducing these frictions would encourage more startups to set up ESOPs.

...and many more insights found in the report

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Meet the Authors

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Saison Capital is an early stage venture capital fund (pre-seed to Series B) with a focus on emerging markets.

We back ambitious founders solving big problems, focused on embedded finance - non-fintech companies expanding into fintech. 

Each individual in our team comes from an operating background, and we are unafraid to roll up our sleeves to support our founders. 

We are backed by Credit Saison, a Tokyo-listed 30b AUM consumer finance company with extensive financial services across Asia.

Find out more at

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Svested is a trusted partner to founders. We support them by digitalising and handling their administrative matters so they can pursue their purpose, grow their profits, and attract and retain good people.

As one of Southeast Asia’s leading ESOP specialists, we advise founders in the planning and setting up of their startup equity strategy. We enable founders and employees to manage their ESOPs easily through a user-friendly digital platform.

We are also an ACRA-certified Filing Agent and provide a comprehensive end-to-end service that takes care of all administrative and compliance matters, from incorporation to exit.

Find out more at 

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