How much are VC-backed Aussie tech bosses paying themselves?

How much are VC-backed Aussie tech bosses paying themselves?

Salaries were up but gender diversity was low with founders at the CEO level

Credit: Dreamstime

Senior figures in Australian start-up technology firms have either gained a $40,000 pay rise over the previous year -- or axed their salaries completely, according to a new report. 

Founders at venture capitalist-funded companies saw salaries at their height reach up to $338,000 to a low of nothing. 

At the top end of the scale, this is higher than previous recorded top salary of $290,000, yet lower than the bottom end of $35,000.

These are according to the latest iteration of the Australian Startup Salary Guide, complied by start-up career coaching firm Think & Grow and Amazon Web Services.

The report looked at 1,000 salaries across 63 VC-backed Australian technology companies from July 2019 onwards and compared how much high-level staff made in a year to how much that company was able to make through VC funding.

For the first time, the guide also looked at how many of these positions were held by women. Out of all the companies that raised $500,000 to $1 million, 25 per cent of its CEO-level founders were women.

Then of those that had raised $1 million to $3 million, 20 per cent of CEO-level founders were women.

Companies at the next level of funding of $3 million to $5 million only recorded 18 per cent of its CEO-level founders as women.

The rest of the companies recorded, which recorded funding levels of $5 million up to $50 million and beyond, had no women founders at the CEO level.

Jonathan Jeffries, director and partner at Think & Grow, said despite the coronavirus pandemic, the technology industry is still set for growth and salaries aren't seeing a decline.

“In the wake of the current environment due to COVID-19, we hope this report will highlight the opportunities that exist in future industries, including technology careers," he said. 

Citing data from LinkedIn, Jeffries claimed that despite the hiring rate across the economy falling to -2.8 per cent, software and IT is up 17.3 per cent.

"Even with COVID-19 layoffs, we aren’t seeing current salaries reduce from the salary data reflected in the report. Talent in tech is still a premium, despite economic decline across other industries," he added. "Tech jobs are still growing and skill sets are in high demand. The recruitment work we still have globally shows the same salary levels as was six months ago. 

 "Instead of salary cuts, current employees (be it executives [or] key staff) are working reduced hours. While we're seeing some temporary pay cuts, we've not seen a shift as yet in salary."

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