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

13th Oct 2015

Our contribution to Trickle Up EconomicsThumb 48a00d84b6a0ece0

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has an uplifting post out called Trickle Up Economics Read More

7th Apr 2017

Cloudera’s IPO – Do investors still have high hopes for big data?Thumb 108c8598ab6b1280

Cloudera Inc. filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) a week ago to raise up to $200 million in its long-awaited public debut. Read More