How much do Associate PMs Make?
Benchmarking startup comp by company stage
In anticipation of the year-end merit cycle reviews taking place at many startups, I’ve refreshed the famed Mostly metrics comp database for our readers. The goal is to arm you with the appropriate benchmarks to get the most out of your negotiations and “secure da bag”.
Employees are often at an information disadvantage in these types of negotiations, as employers have the luxury of paying for expansive reports, and also knowing what other people at the company make in a comparable position. I’d like to level the playing field a little bit.
Over the next nine weeks we’ll be reviewing benchmarks for positions across Finance and Product (two of our favorite operator groups who read this newsletter):
Within Finance we’ll cover:
Finance Associate, Finance Analyst, FP&A Analyst (LAST WEEK!)
Finance Manager, FP&A Manager (NEXT WEEK!)
Finance Director, Director of Finance, FP&A Director
VP of Finance
Within Product we’ll cover:
Associate Product Manager, Junior Product Manager (THIS WEEK!)
Product Lead, Lead Product Manager, Group Product Manager
Product Director, Director of Product Management
VP of Product / Head of Product
Paid readers will get access to the reports for all of the positions above.
What you’ll find below is a breakdown on the position for Seed through Series D startups across three vectors:
Total Cash Comp (base + bonus)
Equity as a Percentage (fully diluted %)
Equity as a Dollar Value (fully diluted % translated into $’s)
Factors that influence where an individual may fall in terms of percentile:
Personal Experience in Role: Self explanatory. The skillz pay the billz. More experience in role means more dollahs.
Time Since Last Fundraise: Companies generally "top off" the ESOP (employee stock option pool), or increase the pool, after each funding round. This is so they can grant equity to new joiners, based on their seniority and skill set. So there's generally more equity available to employees right after a recent round.
Age of Company: Companies that are only a couple of years old have a “cleaner” cap table, which means they have less points tied up in the past and more available for future hires.
Number of Employees at the Company: A “Series B” company with 100 employees onboard vs a “Series B” company with 250 employees on board is in a better position to grant more equity.
In terms of location, I’m baselining everything against “Tier 1 cities”: San Fran / NYC / LA / Seattle. Consider this the most “lucrative” of packages, or the high end.
“Tier 2” cities like Boston / Austin / Chicago / Denver realize approx. 85% to 90% of the total value we’ve shown, while places in Europe, like the UK (83%) Germany (69%), and France (55%), should be discounted accordingly.
Author’s Note: I purely mean Tier 1 in the pay sense; San Fran literally has poop everywhere. Also, go Red Sox.