Start-ups are spending big money on salaries, hikes, promotions and new hires amid the funding boom. The business banking platform of Razorpay studied the payroll data of over 25,000 employees across 360 startups in India from 15+ sectors in the last six months i.e. from April to September 2021. They found that total salary spends have increased by 43% during this period. Many start-ups had frozen performance appraisals and increments last year due the pandemic. But this year, business has recovered amid the funding frenzy. In the first five months of 2021 alone, 14 startups have been valued at a billion dollars or more, compared to 11 in all of 2020. Who is hiring?Online education, fintech, ecommerce and electronics are not only leading the hiring brigade but have also witnessed a significant increase in salary spending during the last six months. Bonus is backSome start-ups have increased the median salary by 7 per cent during April and September and there has been a 52 per cent increase in organisations that disbursed bonuses. The amount paid in bonuses is also up by23 percent as opposed to pay cuts and deferred bonuses in the same period a year ago. But real estate, hospitality and agriTech are some of the sectors that weren’t able to give out bonuses since they are gradually stabilising. Reimbursements are also upReimbursements to employees have increased 50% in the last 6 months, compared to the previous six months. After a drop in the first couple of months, travel reimbursements increased by 54% in the last one month as work-related travel across startups are starting to increase. Fuel reimbursements have increased by 28% too. Further, reimbursements for internet connectivity have increased, possibly indicating continued remote and hybrid work regimes. Surprisingly, food reimbursements dropped by 75% in the last six months, after peaking in March. Senior-level positions most in demandEmployee headcount is also up 30 percent in the last six months. While hiring for entry-level jobs is up 14 percent, mid-level jobs grew 31 percent and mid-senior level by 38 percent. Senior-level roles saw the highest growth of 43% across startup organisations. This could possibly indicate a need to recruitC-level leaders for rethinking business strategies. At organisational level, 57 percent of the startups saw an increase in hiring and 28 percent a drop. E-commerce sector contributed to this growth in a big way, as a lot of businesses and consumers embrace digital. “The fact that the majority of our startups using RazorpayX Payroll have increased their salary spends alongside a steadily growing headcount is a clear sign of revival,” said Shashank Kumar, CTO and Co-Founder, Razorpay. WFH allowance will go up:In the coming months, work from home related allowances will increase. RazorpayX Payroll predicts an almost an 80% rise in reimbursements and allowances related to internet connections. Contractor, freelancers and gig economy payments are on the rise among startups. Health insurance offerings will also rise as employee health and wellbeing will continue to remain a top priority.