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Salaries of Venture-Backed Startups in 2022



Getting hired at a venture-backed startup is exciting! You’re going to have the

opportunity to work on something new with people who really care about their business. The

startup environment gives people the chance to build a team from the ground up.


While having the chance to work on a passionate team is great and all, a main concern

when accepting a job is the salary. Even when you care about a company, money is one of the

greatest motivators. So, let’s talk about money and what reasonable compensation at a venture-

backed startup should be.


Venture-Backed Startup Salary



If you are transitioning from corporate America into a venture-backed startup, you might

be in for a salary decrease at first. It’s important to keep in mind that the founders are aware of

this, and offer employees other benefits, as well. These benefits can include company equity

that will make up for a lower salary as the company succeeds. Before accepting a position, you

should always do your research and ask questions to make sure you have a full understanding

of your benefits. The equity benefits in exchange for a lower salary should balance out, and

make sure taking that lower salary will not put financial strain on you in hopes that the stocks

pay off.


Payscale puts the average salary of a startup employee at around $101k a year. Another

thing to consider, of course, is the position you are accepting. Different roles are going to have

different levels of compensation. According to Payscale, these are some of the averages for

typical positions you’ll find at venture-backed startups.


  • UX Designer: $55k-$108k

  • Sales: 58k-130k

  • Software Engineer: $73k-138k

  • Product Manager: $76k-$148k

So, if you’re looking to get into a venture-backed startup keep these numbers in mind.

Every company is going to be different depending on what they have for funding. It’s important

to be prepared to negotiate if you don’t feel the salary will suit your needs. For example, if you

are applying to a tech company that requires you to live in Silicon Valley, the cost of living is

going to be higher than living in Wisconsin and your salary should reflect that.


CEO Salaries



If you’re looking to get into the founder world and create a venture-backed startup, you

may be wondering what you may get paid. Founders and CEOs get to decide what they pay

themselves, and it’s going to vary dramatically across the board. It will also ultimately depend on

the amount of funding the company has received to determine salaries. The average CEO

salary will also vary depending on the industry of the venture-backed startup.


According to Kruze Consulting, the average salary for a venture-backed startup CEO is

$130k at startups with around $8million in funding. That is not to say that they don’t get paid

more or less. Some CEOs will take a lower salary to compensate employees because they don’t

seem it necessary to live off of. It will all depend on the company.

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