Monk’s Hill Ventures and Glints on how Southeast Asian startups can cope with the region’s talent crunch – TechCrunch

Quite a bit has modified since Monk’s Hill Ventures launched its first report on tech compensation in Southeast Asia 5 years in the past, with base salaries and competitors for prime talent leaping dramatically. But one factor has remained the similar since 2016: startup compensation information, together with details about base pay, bonuses and inventory choices, remains to be laborious to search out. To get extra information for its newest Southeast Asia Tech Talent Compensation report, which covers startup hiring in Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, Monk’s Hill Ventures teamed up with Glints, one among its portfolio corporations.

Glints is a recruitment platform that claims four million customers every month and is utilized by 30,000 organizations. The report analyzed greater than 1,000 information factors from Glints’ proprietary database, together with job commercials and placements made by 2020, and surveyed 175 staff in each technical and non-technical roles. It additionally consists of interviews with greater than 20 founders, together with from Bot MD, Carousell, Horangi, the Asianparent and Ninja Van. The full report can be downloaded here.

The report centered on Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam as a result of they’re three of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia. It discovered that startups are dealing with a number of main shifts at the similar time. There are extra Southeast Asian startups maturing into late stage, however at the similar time, massive American and Chinese tech corporations are organising regional operations, together with TikTookay, Tencent, Alibaba and Zoom. This means compensation packages are being pushed up and startups face a talent crunch, particularly in Singapore. Most of the founders interviewed by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Glints mentioned that base salaries have no less than doubled since 2016.

Going distant even earlier than the pandemic

But the vary of salaries and talent pool varies extensively between Southeast Asian nations, and in consequence, tech startups can construct robust groups with a regionally distributed technique. For instance, this can seem like an engineering crew in Vietnam, information science crew in Singapore and product administration crew in Indonesia. Vietnam had the highest wage variations between senior and junior roles, for each tech and non-tech talent, in comparison with Singapore and Indonesia, which the report mentioned means there’s “strong potential for upward salary growth within the Vietnamese tech sector.”

Oswald Yeo, co-founder and chief government officer of Glints, informed TechCrunch that many startups have been constructing regionally distributed engineering hubs earlier than COVID-19 as a result of there was merely not sufficient talent in Singapore. Now much more founders have turn into open to distant groups due to the pandemic. But having groups in numerous nations doesn’t simply deal with the talent crunch. It additionally lays the groundwork for regional enlargement.

“Commercially in Southeast Asia, you can’t stay in a single market unless it’s maybe Indonesia,” mentioned Yeo. “If you stay only in Singapore, Malaysia or even Vietnam, you will not be a large enough business and make the impact you want to make. A lot of startups have to venture out, so they end up having commercial teams in each market anyway and then it’s very normal for them to build product and tech teams in those markets.”

Competing for specialised abilities

The report discovered that tech roles, together with product, information science and engineering, earn 54% greater than non-technical roles, like advertising, operations or finance. But the base wage between product and information science roles over non-technical roles was one to 2 instances greater than for engineering, suggesting that “while engineering skills are becoming more common across the region, specialized product and data science skills remain hard to come by.”

Founders mentioned that vice presidents of engineering particularly are seen as one among a startup’s most important hires. Singapore-based startups at Series B and upward paid base month-to-month salaries starting from $7,500 to $10,000, with fairness compensation from 0.3% to 1.2%. In Indonesia, base salaries for engineering VPs ranged from $2,800 to $7,100 relying on the stage of firm, and in Vietnam, early stage corporations paid on common $1,000 to $5,000. That quantity elevated to $5,000 to $6,000 after elevating Series A funding, and $8,000 to $10,000 for corporations at Series B stage and above.

The competitors for prime tech talent can be mirrored in C-level compensation. The report discovered that chief government officers have a tendency to carry extra fairness of their startups, however chief technology officers persistently have greater median base salaries, “suggesting that CEOs are often willing to take a pay cut in favor of their technical counterparts, who are typically highly valued and considered scarce assets to the company.”

Based on mixed information from Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, CEO’s median wage elevated from $2,600 a month at the $Zero to $10 million funding stage, to $6,000 a month at $5 million to $10 million in funding. In comparability, at the similar funding phases, CTO’s median wage elevated from $3,300 to $7,550 respectively. CEO at startups with funding as much as $5 million owned between 15% to 100% of their firm’s fairness, whereas the common possession of CTOs at that stage is 19%.

Cash versus fairness

Another noteworthy discovering is that lower than 32% of tech talent surveyed by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Glints are being compensated in fairness. Founders mentioned staff, particularly junior-to-mid stage hires, nonetheless favor money. But that is altering as founders spend extra time educating their groups about the advantages of fairness, and some startups at the moment are additionally providing annual wage dietary supplements, bonuses, restricted inventory models or worker inventory possession plans.

Some founders reported that executives who’ve labored in the American or Singaporean startup ecosystems are keener on fairness choices, however typically, there must be extra startup exits in Southeast Asia for candidates to turn into open to fairness.

Before co-founding Monk’s Hill Ventures, Peng Ong was a enterprise accomplice at GSR Ventures in China. “In 2010, in that time frame, there were the same issues there. People wanted cash. Fast forward to three years later, when the IPOs started to happen, all that changed. People wanted options,” Ong informed TechCrunch. He mentioned that the similar shift is regularly beginning to occur in Southeast Asia, because of Sea Group and Razer’s IPOs.

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