February 28, 2024

Wer hat den größten Gehalts-Scheck? Eine Studie vergleicht die C-Levels in europäischen Startups.

Several hundred thousand euros: this is how much a C-Level startup earns

How much salary does a CEO get compared to the rest of the C-Suite? And is there more money in venture capital or private equity-funded startups? The study provides insight.

Who has the highest salary? A study comparing C levels in European startups.
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Does a CEO earn less at a venture-backed startup? How big is the pay gap between female and male CEOs in Europe? And in which country is the basic wage higher: Spain, Great Britain or Germany?

The study by recruiter Erevena provides more transparency in this area. The team surveyed more than 1,700 executives from private, public, venture capital and private equity-backed companies in 24 countries in Europe.

Although the study results are not representative, they still provide an exciting insight into the salary world for European startups. Below is an overview of the most important points.

You get least: Execs at VC-backed startups

Compared to their private, equity-backed and publicly traded counterparts, the salaries of CEOs at venture capital-funded startups lag behind: on average, they earn a base salary of €196,000. On average, managing directors at private equity-funded startups get an additional income of over €25,000 with them.

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Other CEOs in the project-supported field are not far from their bosses: CFOs top the earnings list with €209,000, closely followed by CTOs with €205,000.

COOs earn an average of €182,000, which – in addition to the salaries of the CEO, CFO and chief technology officer – are below average for their peers in the privately traded, publicly traded, and privately-equity sectors.

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Only two positions in VC-funded startups stand out from their peers: Marketing Director and Head of Product.

Male CEOs get ahead of women

When it comes to the gender pay gap, the gap is still huge: in early-stage project-funded startups, male CEOs earn an average of €173,000 in salaries. Women in the same position get almost 40 thousand euros less: they get 135 thousand euros.

At the late stage, the range becomes larger even with the same financing: here the average salary of the CEO is already 289,000 euros, while the company’s president brings home 224,000 euros. In VSCs in the latter stage, approximately 81 percent of Level C are men and only about 19 percent are women.

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Spanish CEOs have the advantage in the early stages

On average in Europe, CEOs of early-stage startups (even investing in Series B) get the highest salaries in Spain: according to the survey, they earn almost €200,000 in base salary. Great Britain reparations here 180 thousand euros. German startup bosses are ahead of their peers in France, Scandinavia and the Baltic states by €141,000.

From Series C, British presidents with an average salary of 222,000 euros outperform their colleagues from the Nordic and Baltic countries (194,000 euros), Germans (178,000 euros), Spaniards (175,000 euros) and the French (163,000 euros) .

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