Benchmarks for Employee Stock Based Compensation in SaaS Startups


tomtunguz.stfi.reHow much should your startup budget for its employee stock option pool? One way of answering this question is a blanket addition per year, say a 2% renewal. Another way is to look at the cash based cost of the stock based compensation. We’re going to examine the second one today by looking at the basket of 50+ SaaS companies.

The chart above shows the average stock-based compensation (SBC) per employee by years since founding across the basket of publicly traded SaaS companies. Each blue dot is a data point and the red line is a polynomial regression (loess) to show the trend. In summary, each year the typical public SaaS company spends about $10-20k in stock based compensation per employee.

Read more about employee SBC at




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