Oregon Angel Fund & Brentwood Group — Annual Compensation Survey of VC Backed Companies in Oregon

Julianne Brands — 2017

For entrepreneurs and venture investors in Oregon and SW Washington, understanding compensation for venture-backed companies has historically been difficult given unreliable data and skewed benchmarks.

Our solution is to survey the private, VC-backed companies in our own community. This data will allow entrepreneurs and investors alike to track annual compensation with guidelines that are accurate, robust, and meaningful to our region.


  • 31 responses from venture-backed companies headquartered in OR & SW WA for CY 2016, compared to 35 for CY 2015.
  • Median salaries increased 15% across the board from CY 2015 to CY 2016 (excluding non-founding CEOs, an outlier in the sample).
  • Executive level positions & senior technical talent increased the most significantly, up 20% and 18% respectively (excluding non-founding CEOs, an outlier in the sample).
  • Non-founding CEOs earn on average 24% more in cash compensation compared to founding CEOs. However, founding CEO’s earn higher variable compensation, with a median of 23% equity ownership vs. just 8.5% for non-founding CEOs.
  • Engineering and sales continue to be the most highly compensated roles. Sales, Marketing & Customer Success roles are heavily weighted toward variable (bonus and commission) compensation.
  • Senior Software engineers now earn $110K cash comp, up 7% from 2015. The median equity grant to board members and non-founding employees is trending downward compared to last year. For example, board members now receive 0.5% equity ownership (regardless of stage — i.e., Series A, B, C) vs. 0.9% last year.

This report was a collaborative undertaking between Oregon Angel Fund, The Brentwood Group, many of the venture firms investing in Oregon, and our collective portfolio companies.

See here for our data from last year — https://medium.com/@oregonangelfund/oaf-brentwood-group-annual-compensation-survey-of-vc-backed-companies-in-or-and-sw-wa-b2059f7c276a

Shameless plug: If you’re a venture-backed company in Oregon or a VC with venture investments in the area, and want to participate, please email me, Julianne Brands (julianne@oregonangelfund.com). Participants receive full access to the dashboard that analyzes employee salary, equity, and bonus compensation across company stage, capital raised, and revenue.