Digital & IT

Published: December 17, 2021 | Updated: December 18, 2021

Christmas comes early with OnBuy rewarding entire workforce with £1m+ in share options

Plenty to cheer: OnBuy staff with Cas Paton, Founder and CEO.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Santa has come early for the team at e-commerce marketplace OnBuy.

The Poole-based company has announced that more than £1m in granted share options are to be offered to OnBuy staff.

It gives employees the opportunity to be direct beneficiaries of the company’s future success.

To recognise the commitment and hard work that has won the company numerous accolades in the business community, each team member is to be rewarded with share options in the company equivalent to around 25 per cent of their annual income.

As an example an employee on £30,000 per annum would be eligible to £7,500 in share options.

All post-probation staff are eligible for the share options.

They will also be offered to new employees in the future.

The options can be exercised during a ‘liquidity event’ which OnBuy is defining as an Initial Public Offering (IPO) when a private company becomes public by selling its shares on the stock exchange.

With an anticipated IPO in the next two years, it could mean staff are set to benefit sooner rather than later.

Cas Paton, CEO and Founder of OnBuy, pictured, said: “At OnBuy, we do the right thing by our retailers and customers, so it’s natural that we would do the right thing by our staff too – and we don’t believe any employee should have to be in the boardroom to benefit from company growth.

“E-commerce is a fast-paced 24 hour business and many firms have been in the spotlight recently for poor working practices and in some cases, downright abuse of staff.

“Frankly this is unacceptable and at OnBuy, we are committed to creating a fair and transparent working environment for all.

“We want to show that working for an e-commerce giant can be a hugely positive experience and our team is absolutely vital to our future success.

“We want to reward hard work financially, showing employees that they aren’t just a cog in the machine.”

OnBuy is on track to be the UK’s next tech unicorn after recording 200 per cent revenue growth in the last 12 months.

The term unicorn, in a business sense, was coined by venture capitalist Aileen Lee for a privately held Silicon Valley startup company valued at over $1bn.

The stock option news follows a successful month for the online marketplace with GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) over the infamous Black Friday weekend increasing year-on-year by 25 per cent.

That’s despite the retail sector showing an overall decline in the same period.

Continuing to show consistent growth, the reward of equity to its employees comes at a pivotal moment for the business as it prepares for international expansion.

OnBuy has been hailed as a breath of fresh air for retailers looking for an alternative to Amazon to sell their products.

It offers 36 million listings and is committed to being a fair partner to retailers.

Unlike other major marketplaces it does not create its own product lines that compete directly with sellers.

OnBuy also offers a simple, flat fee structure across the board.

It recently sacrificed 85 per cent of its commission fees on Black Friday so sellers could offer great promotions without losing margin.

Founded five years ago, OnBuy finishes 2021 strongly with recognition in Deloitte’s Fast 50 as the fastest growing company in the South West and Wales.

Cas also won the Regional Scale-Up Entrepreneur award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards last month.