Pave, a fast-growing competitor to Option Impact, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired 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 always fiercely competitive, and startup executives rely on each other’s data to gauge how much they should pay to recruit and retain employees. Pave’s selling point is that instead of surveying companies once a year, it integrates their HR software like BambooHR, Carta, and Greenhouse so clients can access real-time compensation data.
The purchase follows what Pave founder and CEO Matt Schulman described as a “very competitive bidding process” for Advanced-HR. In addition to the popular Option Impact tool, Advanced-HR’s product suite also includes Option Driver and the Venture Capital Executive Compensation Survey. Pave did not announce what it paid for Advanced-HR.
“We see this as a sort of space race opportunity. It’s about who gets the data first,” Schulman told Protocol. “We strongly believe that we will 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. After the acquisition, Pave has more clients than any other compensation benchmarking database for private technology companies, Schulman said.
These clients will now have access to Option Impact data from more than 2,200 startups within Pave, which Schulman says offers a better user interface, better integration and its own real-time composition dataset.
Both Pave and Option Impact have historically served venture-backed companies through the Series C or Series D stage. 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 up against Meta, DoorDash, Uber, Netflix and Amazon, Schulman said. .
“We have an interest in understanding what people are being paid in the early stage market as well as in the late stage public market,” Schulman said. “It’s very useful to have all this information in one place, instead of needing to access different data sets with different standards, different frameworks, etc.”
In addition to Index Ventures, which now sits on Pave’s board, Pave’s Series C round included investments from Andreessen Horowitz, YC Continuity Fund, LocalGlobe, Craft Ventures, Original Capital, from Backend Capital, Contrary Capital, former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and former Facebook VP of HR Tudor Havriliuc.