Founder salary

New EiWT57
Dec 2

What is a typical founder salary during seed and series A ? My understanding is it never exceeds 150k.


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  • Amazon Northman
    These are all wrong answers, FYI. Never let investors make you live below poverty line. We were doing 100-120k about 10 years ago in SV. My cofounder cranked it to 250k after a series B (I had departed by then). 60-70k was normal about 18 years ago in Boston, so whoever suggests 60k a year in modern SV is crazy - that is below poverty line here. My suggestion is to tell an investor to get fucked if they say less than 100k. If you have a family, you should insist on more, depending on how much value you bring to the table. If you are walking away from 500k+ in liquid comp and have kids, you will likely need 200k to minimally support your family. If you are a young single person walking away from 200k, then you can probably survive just fine on 100-120k. So make decisions accordingly. In this day and age I wouldnt do a seed round less than 3M, it just doesnt make sense.
    Dec 21
    • Twitch CP0
      What a G
      Dec 2
  • New / Eng0xFFFFFD
    Dec 23
    • Lyft / EngBrryBndit
      Disagree. I think 36k or something like that is the minimum you need to be covered by health insurance.
      Dec 2
    • New EiWT57
      0 makes no sense. Getting a company to the point it becomes profitable inorder to reap the equity rewards can take north of 5 years. Who can survive for 5 years with 0 salary (esp if based off in an overpriced location like the Bay Area)?
      Dec 2
    • Intuit qw35
      This is blind, where you round TC to the nearest 100k. 36k rounds to 0.
  • Google / MgmtLovedoo
    Anywhere under $5K/mo. You mostly work for stock.
    Dec 22
    • New EiWT57
      Is this during the seed round or indefinitely until the exit?
      Dec 2
    • Google / MgmtLovedoo
      Seed round. Can’t be indefinite.
      You’d need founders with half million to survive that long.
      Dec 2
  • IBM / MgmtMBI
    Depends... in SV for instance, during series A or B co-founders are encouraged to take a big bonus so they can focus 100% without having to struggle with bills, rent, surviving etc. They can maintain their salary though... 100k-ish per year
    Dec 21
    • Uber / EngWizK
      Can you elaborate on this big bonus? How would you determine it? I’m currently a first time founder and have worked 6 months without pay since leaving my job at Uber. I am aiming to raise 2-4M in funding in a few months from now once my proof of concept is done. Would such a bonus mean paying myself back for the missed salary over the year I took zero pay?
      Dec 3
  • rand.randm
    @WizK can you just raise money just by building a POC? What I am hearing from folks around is you need an MVP and some traction to raise that kind of money. Also the answer to your question is It depends based on your personal circumstances .
  • Intel / Engonerhief
    Depends on sales, turnover and revenue. You are going to be the first one to take a cut to make things happen when money is low. Also over billing yourself can put off investors who will be auditing the company spending. I would go with something that pays all your monthly bills and some..
    Dec 20

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