Mobile

Tango deal lets employees sell $8M in stock

Tango games

Above: Tango games

Image Credit: Tango

Tango employees might want to learn the money dance.

On the heels of creating a $25 million game fund to create games that run on top of Tango, the fast-growing mobile messaging application announced today that it will permit employees to sell $8 million in stock in a secondary offering.

Tango is staying private, but with the deal, employees may cash out some of their stock. These workers can sell some of their shares or stock options to other investors during a company-approved period of time. This means those employees don’t have to wait for the company to be acquired or go public to sell their stock.

To facilitate the secondary offering, Tango joined Nasdaq Private Market, the new capital market for private companies.

“As a privately held company, we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to recognize the hard work and dedication that our employees bring to work each day,” said Jean-Philippe Emelie Marcos, the chief operating officer of Tango. “Rewarding employees with ownership of the company has been one highly effective way to recruit top talent. Giving them a way to unlock the value of those shares while we remain private, creates a powerful retention tool and demonstrates our commitment to employees.”

Tango partnered with Nasdaq Private Market and SharesPost to streamline the entire process. A qualified private investment firm will be buying the shares. This is the second time Tango has done a secondary offering, and this one is open only to employees, no proceeds going to the company.

For Tango, the offering is a retention and recruiting tool for employees. It also allows the company to stay private for a longer time.

“Nasdaq Private Market is proud to support Tango’s efforts to enable their employees to realize the value they have created,” said Greg Brogger, president of Nasdaq Private Market. “Providing liquidity to early stakeholders helps forward-looking private companies like Tango to stand out from the crowd in their recruiting and retention efforts.”

Tango raised $280 million in March in a round that Alibaba Group led. It has 200 employees, and it said it intends to hold annual secondary programs to provide an ongoing incentive for their employees to continue growing the value of the company. Tango was founded in 2009, and it has more than 200 million registered members.


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