For Founders
Announcing the 4th Annual Founder Salary Report

Announcing the 4th Annual Founder Salary Report

Written by 
Waseem Daher
May 9, 2024
Announcing the 4th Annual Founder Salary Report

"What should I be paying myself?" 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from founders. Given the scarcity of real-world benchmark data, we started compiling founder salary data in 2021 and are excited to announce our 4th version of the Founder Salary Report.

This year, we gathered data from a diverse group of more than 1,000 founders, across stage, size, and funding level. One notable change from previous iterations of this report, is that we’ve included a deep dive into the salaries for founders of AI startups (hint: it's not what you think). 

Overall Trends

Encouragingly, versus 2023, both median and average salaries for founders rose, by 15% and 17% respectively. 

While salaries are on the rise for founders who take a salary, the incidence of those taking no salary at all also increased by 33% versus 2023. This is on top of a 30% increase in zero-salary-takers from 2022 to 2023. 

Funding and Its Impact on Salaries

Despite a slight decrease in average funding from last year, the median funding amount has increased to $4M. In a sea of bad news for VC-backed startups, we’re taking this as indication of a slightly healthier funding environment for many startups.

Founders with VC backing generally have higher salaries, reflecting the different financial dynamics in play.

A Personal Note

No matter what the market comps or this report tells you, the real answer to “how much should I pay myself?” is the amount that allows you to fully focus all your energies on making your business work.

If your salary is too low, the distractions of financial stress could take your focus off your startup, too high and you’re starving your company of the capital it needs to grow. 


No report can precisely dictate the "right" salary. However, our 2024 Founder Salary Report offers a starting point and a framework for discussions with your co-founders and board. I hope you find it as valuable a resource as many of your peers have.

Dive into the full 2024 Founder Salary Report →

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How much should you be paying yourself as a founder?
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