Is this good offer for San Francisco?

Sears Holdings / Eng
mvtahru

Sears Holdings Eng

PRE
Sears Holdings
mvtahrumore
Sep 19, 2017 43 Comments

I have got the following offer from a Pre IPO firm but over 10 years in market.
Role: Senior software engineer
Base: 170k
Relocation: upto 10k based on expenses
Sign in bonus (in lieu of relocation) : 10k
Annual bonus: upto 10%
Options: 5000 over 4 years. 25% per annum.
Strike price: not sure
Discretionary time off (supposedly unlimited)
401k : 100% match for first 3% employee contribution after one year. 50% for next 2%.

I am currently single (no dependents) in Chicagoland area in Senior software engineer role in 120k-125k band. I have about 5 years of total work experience with 3.5 years in current company.
Is this offer in accordance with the compensation market for bay area?
Will it be wise move to move to bay area with this package? How much can I negotiate with this?
I am courting with one other company (financial, NY) and expecting an offer in couple of days.
Looking forward for guidance from experienced people here.

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TOP 43 Comments
  • Google / Eng
    Arrylay

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Uber
    Arrylaymore
    "Options: 5000 over 4 years
    Strike price: not sure"

    How could anyone evaluate this without knowing what the options are worth? (And why on earth haven't you asked?)
    Sep 19, 2017 18
    • Google / Eng
      Arrylay

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Uber
      Arrylaymore
      Seems like a pretty low salary-to-options ratio to me.
      Sep 21, 2017
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      Can you explain this analysis? I am still learning this stocks and options thing.
      Should I ask for 10k options?
      I received the other offer I was waiting for too. Have created a separate post for that. Please check if you get time.
      Sep 21, 2017
    • Google / Eng
      Arrylay

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Uber
      Arrylaymore
      I would expect your stock to be somewhere close to your salary in value, unless they're paying very weirdly for a startup. $170k * 4 / $14 would be 48,000 options, so your offer is confusingly weighted towards salary.

      Either the expected value of the options is much higher than the strike price, or that's a very weirdly imbalanced comp package. Someone who's actually gone to a pre-IPO startup should confirm this - I've only received one startup offer in my lifetime.

      It's still extremely sketchy that they won't at least tell you the strike price of the options, or tell you how they will be structured or what kind of funding rounds they've gone through. It's not unreasonable that they won't give you "This is how much they're worth", because that would be tantamount to asserting the company's value, which they can't do. But they should tell you the strike price and the % of the company it represents, and let you figure it out from your own idea of how much the company is worth.
      Sep 21, 2017
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      So if the recruiter is not answering these. Is it wise to connect with the hiring manager or someone from team leadership for these questions? Or will this be pertaining to finance department only?
      Sep 21, 2017
    • Google / Eng
      Arrylay

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Uber
      Arrylaymore
      I dunno, man. Sounds sketchy.
      Sep 21, 2017
  • T-Mobile zNpT60
    My offer from SF start up was 132 base with 3000 options and 10k sign on no bonus. For senior android dev. Took offer with T-Mobile.
    Sep 19, 2017 7
    • T-Mobile zNpT60
      I'll add that 170k won't go as far as you think in Bay Area. I've read articles taking about how Twitter employee who makes $350k is struggling. Rent is INSANE there. No sure what communities are like but some are as long as 2 hours. I'd make sure you understand what rent and commute are like before you decide on this.
      Sep 19, 2017
    • AdColony / Other
      Falala

      AdColony Other

      BIO
      Mobile Advertising
      Falalamore
      That is a lot of bullshit. I spent 9 years in SF. If you are struggling on 350K you're an idiot and living way outside your means. Rents in SF are high, yes then move to Excelsior/Outer Mission. Or even better, Daly City, it's in a the Bart line. I lived off of Balboa Bart woth an 8 minute ride to Civic Center (by Twitter). Go to Oakland. There are plenty of options.
      Sep 19, 2017
    • Genentech Durian
      Second that. I make much less than $350 and I'm pretty comfortable. Average rent here is 3k-5k. Must be renting a mansion
      Sep 19, 2017
    • T-Mobile zNpT60
      3k-5k is a lot for rent. A. LOT.
      Sep 19, 2017
    • Genentech Durian
      It is. It is a crazy, stupid amount of money. But not so much that you should struggle at 350
      Sep 19, 2017
  • Genentech Durian
    Recruiter not knowing the value/%/strike price of their shares is a huge red flag to me... but other than that its a good offer.
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • Cisco Suku
    170k base is good. Startups dont give that base
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • New / Eng MDOy74
    All I can say is I wouldn't leave my $130k salary in Texas for $170k in San Francisco unless the options were worth at least six figures. The base seems ok, but the big question is the equity.
    Sep 19, 2017 1
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      That's the point that is making it tough for me. 120k in Chicago is already equivalent to around 180K in SF (and that's considering its lateral transition and no increment).But then Stock options and future opportunities come into picture too.
      Sep 19, 2017
  • New / Mgmt TacoMaco
    One thing I suggest is negotiate to get more shares, maybe if you can go down on salary & get more shares instead it's a good option. Assuming this is a legit company going to IPO near the future.
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • Exsilio Solutions hell0w0rld
    Let me apply!
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • OmniTier Storage mercury55
    Ask for 10k stock options
    Sep 19, 2017 3
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      5000 to 10000?
      What does it actually mean by 25% each year can be vested. Can I buy 25% after one year service or during one year?
      Sep 20, 2017
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      And with stock options I don't get those stocks by default right? I will have to buy them from my pocket at strike price?
      Sep 20, 2017
    • Google / Eng
      Arrylay

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Uber
      Arrylaymore
      Don't listen to mercury55. Just asking them to double without knowing what they're worth is silly.

      You typically can't sell the options until the company IPOs.
      Sep 21, 2017
  • MZ KvQn70
    Good base and bonus. You need to find out ballpark figure for option value. They have to at least tell u the strike price. Usually fair value is 2-3x strike price. Alternatively you can ask for % of company it represents and last valuation but lots of companies won't tell you. You also need to ask how long to IPO or exit. If revenue is over 100 million they are probably within a couple year timeframe, if less I would pass on the offer.
    Sep 19, 2017 1
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      Signing bonus of 10k will be their if I don't take relocation (which will be based on actual expense and not lump sum amount)
      I am trying to get info about stock options. Will update this post once I get that info. And as far I know revenue is surely over 100 million.
      Sep 19, 2017
  • Indeed / Eng OFdiw268
    Lot of startups do this kind of shit regd stocks, including my current one(not indeed). I'd probe further and ask manager or cto or whoever instead of recruiter.
    Sep 19, 2017 1
    • Sears Holdings / Eng
      mvtahru

      Sears Holdings Eng

      PRE
      Sears Holdings
      mvtahrumore
      OP
      I have asked recruiter for now. If response is not positive than will connect with someone else. Thanks for the suggestion.
      Sep 19, 2017
  • GE / Eng
    monopoly12

    GE Eng

    PRE
    Oracle, EMC Corporation
    BIO
    Senior Software Engineer
    monopoly12more
    That's a great offer. You should definitely take it
    Sep 19, 2017 0
  • Cisco Suku
    Can u pm me name of the company
    Sep 19, 2017 0

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