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.

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