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

12th Oct 2016

How Millennials executed the most effective Industrial Action in historyThumb 09536f7f90bf829c

Read a few articles about Millennials at work, and you’ll get the sense of an entitled generation, that made outrageous demands of their Gen-X bosses. Read More

2nd Feb 2015

We really love Buffer, and the transparency movementThumb b02288ac24514fbd

Buffer is leading the charge on a trend that we think is so positive and leaves in the dust one of the most out-dated aspects of Industrial era business - default secrecy. Read More

21st Dec 2014

Opportunity with BetaPopcornThumb f9625751f7ab15f1

Itay has raised Seed capital to operate a 'product studio' also known as 'startup studio' or 'venture studio'. Read More