Bolt stock options explained

May 29, 2023

Bolt stock options explained

At Bolt, we’re surrounded by top-performing people who are constantly raising the quality bar and taking the company to new levels. 

Our people make Bolt successful, so we want to ensure they’re rewarded for their hard work. That’s why employees receive stock options as a part of a total compensation package. 

Receiving stock options

The idea behind granting stock options is straightforward — it creates a stronger feeling of ownership and ensures every team member benefits from Bolt’s long-term success.

The options programme is available to most employees, and stock options start vesting (meaning a person starts earning the right to the options granted to them) from day one of joining the company.

The vesting period consists of the following steps: 

  • Earn out steps: how often the person earns new units;
  • Cliff period: for all first-time grants, there’s a cliff in place — a period during which someone earns the right to vest their first portion of units. At Bolt, the cliff period is one year. Once this milestone’s reached, the person automatically vests 25% of their units.
how options vest at Bolt

Options will be vesting quarterly throughout the next four years.

The stock option amount depends on someone’s position and is considered part of their total compensation package. The more senior the role, the more options a person receives.

As we want to keep our employees motivated and invested, there are possibilities to get equity top-ups during total compensation reviews and when the person gets promoted. We also provide regrants to replace fully vested grants.

Option types

Depending on location, we offer different types of options to our employees. Both are built on the same principles:

  • Traditional stock options: an employee has the right, but not the obligation, to buy a share of the company;
  • In markets with strict regulations, we issue phantom options or virtual stocks, as they’re sometimes called, that mirror traditional stock options, except that the employee is compensated in cash.

Cashing out stocks

Bolt isn’t a public company, so regular stock cash-out is limited. However, through secondary sales, we’ve allowed option holders to convert some of their vested options into shares and sell them. We aim to provide such opportunities going forward, too.

Exercising options means converting them into shares. Essentially, that means buying them at a pre-determined price known as the ‘strike price‘ — how much an employee pays to convert their options to shares.

At Bolt, the strike price is €1 per unit. This means you pay €1 for one share and can then sell this share to investors. The more the stock value increases, the more valuable the options become.

Paying taxes

Option taxation differs between countries. Usually, but not always, options are taxed as employment income at the time of exercise, meaning the employee needs to pay taxes on the difference between the strike price and the share price at the moment of exercise. 

For example, if the share price is €100 and the strike price is €1, the employee needs to pay taxes on the €99.

how to pay taxes when you sell options

It’s the option holder’s responsibility to pay taxes. It’s either deducted from the payout, or the employee needs to settle it in their next tax return — depending on the tax regulations in the country they worked when vesting the options. If an employee moves to a different country at the moment of exercise, they’d need to consider that country’s regulations. 

Value growth over time

The transport and food sectors represent some of the largest industries in the world. In recent years, Bolt’s experienced significant growth by launching new business lines and expanding to new countries, and thus the value of our stock has increased. 

And we’re not stopping there!

Join us!

We offer a unique opportunity to learn and develop while making a meaningful impact on millions of people across the globe.

If you’re ready to work in an exciting, dynamic, fast-paced company and aren’t afraid of a challenge, we’re waiting for you! 

Check out hundreds of open vacancies, from entry-level to top-level management, each an exciting opportunity to contribute to making cities for people, not for cars.

Download Bolt

Recent posts