Recognising the need to structure competitive and attractive stock option plans to attract the best talent, a few years back, Index Ventures released its OptionPlan app. Initially, the tool was targeted at Series A companies, but as of today, we can roll that one back a step as the app now includes valuable information for seed-stage firms.
The global investment powerhouse took a look at information from over 1,000 startups and poured over seed-stage option grants to assemble an extensive database that covers every team member, 6 different levels of allocation, financial upside calculations for each team member, and makes automatic adjustments based on geography.
And this is just one author’s opinion. but is pretty interesting to play around with and get a comparative idea of who’s value is what and where within a seed-stage team.
Needless to say, whilst compiling the data for this tool, Index unearthed a number of findings including some detailed information about the size of stock option grants, particularly in regard to seniority and tech or non-tech related roles.
Interesting to note, while the data sources, and therefore outcomes, are weighted towards the Bay Area, at the top end of the scale for a senior technical hire, at fully-diluted equity, a staff member could hold 1.18% in options, a 100%+ increase in data compiled in 2018.
In comparison, when looking at salaries in seed-stage companies, here’s where the difference between the US and European-based firms really makes itself apparent. While salaries have gone up across the board (thanks in part to the size and value of seed rounds), the biggest winners in Europe are Junior, non-technical roles, whereas the direct inverse, Senior technical roles are the champions in the US.
The OptionPlan Seed tool is live at Index Ventures alongside further data analysis.