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New report helps startups find the right price for a team

In The Nordic Startup Salary Survey 2018 , Danske Bank and Arkwright X have charted pay levels within Nordic startups. The objective of the survey is to help founders, executives and employees find a mutually agreeable and attractive price for a career.

In the business world, setting the right price is one of the hardest things – not least when it comes to setting the price for the right team. For any startup, attracting and retaining the right people for scaling the business is crucial, and this means being able to offer an attractive salary. Until now, there has been very limited pay-level data for Nordic startups to draw upon, but The Nordic Startup Salary Survey 2018 now provides a solution to this problem. 

Highlights and the full report

  •  Employees holding positions of leadership or working in technical roles have on average the highest levels of basic pay.
  • Salary levels for leaders range from DKK 1.5 million per annum in large startups to around DKK 400,000 per annum in very small startups. 
  • 67% of employees own a stake in the company that they work for, and employees who own shares in the company they work for work on average eight hours more per week.


  • 33% of the women surveyed are founders of the company they work for. For men, this figure stands at 54%.
  • Employees in Norwegian startups work most (49 hours per week), and employees in Finnish startups work least (42 hours per week).
  • The basic pay for men is higher than that for women – also when experience, seniority, role and job tenure into account are taken into account.  

In total, 689 respondents from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Norway contributed to the survey in the period running from August to December 2018. Of the respondents in the survey, 74% are men, 37% are CEOs, and 54% have 0 to 5 years’ experience.

Danske Bank collaborates closely with Nordic startups to help them achieve a breakthrough, grow and increase their positive impact. The new report builds upon the work we have done over the past years, primarily with the launch of The Hub and +impact, two virtual meeting places for tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Klavs Hjorth

Senior Vice President, Business Innovation, Danske Bank