A comparison of US vs UK startup compensation

Earlier today, Mike Butcher at Techcrunch published a 2014 Startup Salary Survey focused on UK startups, created by Gordon & Eden, Enternships, Seedcamp and ICE.

Earlier today, Mike Butcher at Techcrunch published a 2014 Startup Salary Survey focused on UK startups, created by Gordon & EdenEnternshipsSeedcamp and ICE.


The data reminded us of the Wealthfront Startup Salary & Equity Compensation Guide in the US, and we did an analysis comparing the two data-sets.


As the surveys were structured differently, it was not possible to compare every element “apples to apples” but there were some elements where a viable comparison was possible.

Key findings:

  1. Average equity grant for non-founder employees is 0.53% higher in UK Post Angel, and 0.05% higher in UK Post Series B, than US;
  2. Median cash compensation (Salary+Bonus) is significantly lower in the UK than US on all measures:
  3. Based on Size of company, it’s 62% lower at 2-10 employees, 43% lower at 11-20 employees, and 23% lower at 21-50 employees;
  4. Based on Seniority, cash is 30%-50% lower in the UK from Individual Contributor to Director;
  5. Based on Function, cash is 40%-50% lower in UK for all comparable functions except Product Management, where it was 23% lower.


All the data, assumptions and calculations we used are in a Google Sheet here:


Having worked in Tech on both sides of the pond, this generally fits with our experience - US companies, typically much better funded, can pay much higher salary. As regards equity, they are very structured in how they allocate it, following a strict hiring plan and recognised bands.

As always any comments most welcome.

Track the past, present and future of companies
Compare Human Capital and Operating metrics across 30,000 companies

Other blog posts you may be interested in

15th Feb 2015

The problem with Recruitment isn't solved by a new ATSThumb 4d4d2ff1e45678a5

I’ve been playing around with a few new ATS (Applicant Tracking System) solutions, and the available software has definitely come a long way since Taleo. Read More

4th Feb 2017

Intense competition, No shareholder control and Sky-high valuation - Will Snapchat IPO succeed ?Thumb 3fd6fe4464e722c7

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, on Thursday, filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise an estimated $3 billion. Read More

10th Jun 2016

What's Next in finding careers?Thumb c052ebd924de6c77

Over the past year, the rush to self-tracking seems to have quieted, under a recurring question: “what’s the value of all this data?” Read More