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Finance salaries for VC-backed companies

Does anyone have access to any information of this kind?  If so, I would greatly appreciate it.


Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Not sure what you seek. General finance salaries are market driven. Executive Finance salaries are a little different. Usually you will see a thrifty base (not below market, but in the low range) with either an employee stock option piece or an equity component. The equity piece I have used in the past is 5%.

Hope that helps.

Topic Expert
Kent Thomas
Title: Founder
Company: Advanced CFO Solutions
(Founder, Advanced CFO Solutions) |

Regis is correct about the cash compensation for VC backed execs, it is typically in the low range for the specific market where they are located. There are several compensation studies available on the market (some that focus on VC backed companies), some are free but many charge for the information - do your research and find a good study with a large sampling base for your geographical area. The "C" level execs in a VC backed firm will typically have a bonus potential that is expressed as a percentage of their base. This can range from 50% to 100% for the CEO and VP Sales to 20% to 30% for the others. Regarding equity, the compensation studies will give you some good guidance but the "equity" is almost always provided in stock option grants and ranges from about 1% to 7%+ of the company's fully diluted cap table, depending on the position, with the CEO being the only one to get more than 4%. Good Luck!

Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

There are two parts to the question: executives vs the general employee staff. For the staff who are mainly driven by cash compensation rather than equity it difficult to pay below market and attract the best quality and commitment necessary to support the rapid development of what is usually a development stage company.

For the executives, the motivation of equity upside and commitment to proving the success of the business will often be sufficient to justify a significant discount on market rates, and in a pre- positive cash flow world, every dollar you can save will make the CFO and VCs smile.

From time to time, tricky situations will arise where new executives or even key employees have to be hired at market rate salaries that are not in sync with the founding executive team. You just have to keep reminding the founding executives how happy they will be with their stock compensation when the company is acquired for cash in two years time!!


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