InfoShot: Highest paying unicorns

Do billion-dollar valuations equate to better wages?

The average income in the US is around $50,000. It’s no secret that working for a technology giant can pay significantly more, but are you financially better off working for a unicorn?

Glassdoor has revealed the best-paying startups with billion-dollar valuations. Cloudera, a big data provider with a $4 billion valuation, comes up top, offering a median base salary of $142,000. Jawbone (valuation: $3 billion), customer experience startup Medallia ($1.25 billion), Pinterest ($11.2 billion) and Dropbox ($10.35 billion) round out the top five and all offer base salaries of over $110,000.

Five of the world’s 12 decacorns – unicorns with $10 billion+ valuations – are on the list, a reflection that paying good engineers well is rewarded with fast growth. For context, Glassdoor lists well-paying public tech companies as Altera ($133,250 base salary against a $12.4 Billion valuation), Synopsys ($123,000 against $7.8 billion) and VMWare ($121,500 against $35.7 Billion). Google, a company with a market cap of $367.6 Billion, has a median base salary of $116,000, which almost seems mean by comparison. 

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