Option Impact, a benchmark compensation product from Advanced-HR, has a new owner.
Pave, a fast-growing Option Impact competitor, announced Tuesday that it had bought Advanced-HR from Morgan Stanley. The acquisition came as Pave announced its $100 million Series C funding round led by Index Ventures.
The tech talent market is still highly competitive, and startup leaders rely on each other’s data to gauge how much they need to pay in order to recruit and retain employees. Pave’s selling point is that rather than surveying companies once a year, it integrates their HR software like BambooHR, Carta and Greenhouse so that customers can access real-time compensation data.
The purchase followed what Pave founder and CEO Matt Schulman described as a “very competitive bidding process” for Advanced-HR. In addition to the popular tool Option Impact, Advanced-HR's product suite also includes Option Driver and the Venture Capital Executive Compensation Survey. Pave didn’t announce what it had paid for Advanced-HR.
“We view this as a kind of a space-race opportunity. It’s a question of who gets the data asset first,” Schulman told Protocol. “We have a strong conviction we’ll win this new content market that has opened up.”
Pave, which has grown to 150 employees and 2,500 customers since Schulman founded it in 2019, is now valued at $1.6 billion. Post-acquisition, Pave has more customers than any other compensation benchmarking database for private tech companies, Schulman said.
Those customers will now have access to Option Impact’s data from more than 2,200 startups within Pave, which Schulman said offers a better user interface, better integration and its own set of real-time comp data.
Pave and Option Impact have both historically served venture-backed companies up through the Series C or Series D phase. Later-stage companies are more likely to use compensation data from Radford, which is owned by the professional services giant Aon.
But Schulman said he ultimately aims to offer compensation data to more mature companies as well, given “how interconnected the labor market is.” As a Series C company, Pave is no longer just competing for engineers against seed-stage and Series A companies — it’s going up against Meta, DoorDash, Uber, Netflix and Amazon, Schulman said.
“We have an interest in understanding what people are getting paid in the early-stage market as well as the late-stage, public market,” Schulman said. “It is very valuable to have all that information in one place, instead of needing to go to different datasets with different standards, different frameworks, etc.”
In addition to Index Ventures, which now has a Pave board seat, Pave’s Series C round included investment from Andreessen Horowitz, the YC Continuity Fund, LocalGlobe, Craft Ventures, Original Capital, Backend Capital, Contrary Capital, former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and former Facebook Vice President of HR Tudor Havriliuc.