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Yanolja to give out stocks worth W10m to each staff

Yanolja, the largest accommodation and leisure activity booking platform operator in South Korea, said Monday it would give out 10 million-won ($8,900) worth of stocks in their company to each of its 1,000 staff.

The decision will see the stocks given to the company’s current employees and new staff, after CEO and co-founder Lee Su-jin and head of C&D Lim Sang-kyu donated a total of 600,000 stocks.

Though the company has previously given stocks to some of its staff through its loyalty program in the past, the latest giveaway is unconditional and for all staff members.

“As Yanolja has been seen as among the biggest beneficiaries of the post-pandemic world in the global tourism and hospitality sector, we decided to give free stocks to all staff in order to actively invest in the future growth engine that is human resources,” one official said.

The move comes as hopes are starting to coalesce around the vaccine rollout in the tourism sector.

Last year, Yanolja posted 300 billion won in sales, up 78.7 percent from one year ago despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, the accommodation booking platform secured a series D funding of 180 million from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and Booking Holdings.

Yanolja is expected to file for an initial public offering sometime this year and the company is currently valued at between 3 trillion won to 5 trillion won, according to industry insiders.

Last month, e-commerce giant Coupang also announced plans to hand out 100 billion won ($90.3 million) worth of shares to staff including contracted, part-time workers.

By Yim Hyun-su (