Compensation benchmark

We have run a small questionnaire to draw a picture of the status of compensation packages in the Finnish ecosystem.


Startup salaries are always a bit of a question mark. How much should one be paid? What kind of benefits should she receive?

The answer is always “depends”. It depends on the expertise level and skill set as well as the growth stage and funding situation. Especially when it comes to early stage companies other factors such as equity compensation and additional benefits come into play.

We decided to track what the trend is like in our ecosystem to give you an idea of the type of salaries and benefit packages we see in seed and early stage startups. We have run a small questionnaire (72 people surveyed) to draw a picture of the status of the Finnish ecosystem (96% of our sample is Finnish based).

We focused on relatively early startups with a good part of the respondents being part of the founding team:

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Almost half of the sample holds the CEO position in the company and 77% of the total participants of the survey hold some kind of C-level position (CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CTO etc). Interestingly, the CTO/technical roles represent a small part of the respondents. There are plenty of good researches on technical compensation, you can check out more about salary calculators for developers in the “HR” section of Inventure Awake (LINK).

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The background of the survey participants gives us the opportunity to dig more into the C-level and business oriented (57% of the respondents identified themselves as somehow also carrying out sales activities) salary and benefit structures.

The distribution of the working hours seems to be quite even and aligned with what you would think from the Nordic startup ecosystem with most respondents working between 40 and 60 hours per week.

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Salaries, follow an expected pattern within the Finnish ecosystem  with most respondents bringing home roughly 30.000 € to 50.000 € per year. It is important to notice a large part of the companies the respondents have worked for has raised less than 1M €.

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Monetary compensation, however, is not the only component of the retribution packages in seed stage tech companies. A large section of the respondents actually owns shares or share options of the companies potentially increasing the monetary upside in the long term.

Finally, we took a look to other job benefits typical in the local ecosystem. The data highlights quite common patterns in terms of job benefits such as phone, lunch coupons and sport vouchers. A minority is also benefits from less conventional perks such as home internet and public transport paid by the employer.

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