Offer evaluation at LA unicorn

Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
Apr 24 27 Comments

Got initial offer from unicorn in Santa-Monica

Benefits are very nice, but financial side of offer is:

Base - 175k
Bonus 10%
Stock options - worth $25k (told verbally) UPDATE below
Position Principal Data Engineer (AWS).
Total TC = 192K

Currently:
YOE: 15+.
TC: 150k+20% = 180k

Have a few day for accept it.
I like what company is doing, but concerned about financial side of this deal.
1. How does community think, should I accept it negotiate for higher (how much %) ?
2. Stock options - should I much put attention on it ?

Please share your experience!'

UPDATE
180k + 10%
350k stock options in 4 years.

TC around 270k
Willing to accept.

Thanks blinders!

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TOP 27 Comments
  • Affirm AffirmX
    I don't know about the LA market, but it seems super low for 15 YOE.

    For reference, I have 1 YOE after grad school with TC 195K (though in SF).
    Apr 24 6
    • Affirm AffirmX
      @alt_qq I'm curious if FAANGs pay in the same range in Canada.
      Apr 24
    • Affirm AffirmX
      Also, if they adjust your pay in case you transfer from the US.
      Apr 24
    • Microsoft
      jYCKmD

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Google, Facebook, TuneIn, Cisco
      jYCKmDmore
      Affirm your recruiters reached out to me recently and I'm interested in the company - what is your TC breakdown?
      Apr 24
    • Affirm AffirmX
      @Microsoft I've just been here for a while, but I love it.

      Disclaimer: I negotiated just a little bit. Looking back I could have done more.

      Base - $140K
      Stock options - 40K ($175-$185K)
      Sign-on - $5K
      Apr 24
    • Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
      OP
      Pretty good for you!
      In LA area it's not common to see so high numbers even for seniors. But for my family it's better to stay where we are.
      Apr 24
  • Tesla uhhyhhgh
    Try to push them to 210k, you will have to pay taxes on your options. Regarding options. That’s bullshit. They will be diluted by 1/4 in the end. Considering your strike price is $1 and this startup will start their ipo in $20-30 you need to ask for at least 100k. Good luck!
    Apr 24 3
    • Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
      OP
      Thanks !
      I'm not the best negotiator, that's why I'm here ;)
      I have exactly the same thoughts +10% to offered TC, to have 210-215k. My concern is - base is pretty good for this area, but bonus is really small. Which tactics will works better
      - push base + bonus
      - push bonus only ?

      They did valuation recently, I have doubts that with IPO/acquisition value will be even doubled.
      Apr 24
    • Tesla uhhyhhgh
      IPO Is a Russian Roulette!
      I doubt they will give you more base but they can give some extra bonus.
      Better to come with counter offers.
      Anyway, congrats on your offer!
      Apr 24
    • Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
      OP
      Thanks !
      I'll try 180k+20%, which around my sweet spot.
      I have one more offer, it's weaker 185 TC, but huge plus - walking distance to office ;)
      Apr 24
  • You need to have waaaaay more stock options. That’s the whole point of joining a unicorn. The cash comp ain’t nothing to write home about, and right now even the stock options pale compared to FAANG.

    There should be some upside to taking a risk.
    Apr 24 2
    • Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
      OP
      I appreciate your response. Never worker in companies which offers equity.
      Agree, 25k - is nothing, I can say it right away. What do you think reasonable amount of stocks to ask ?
      PS. I'm not willing to overwhelm them as well ;)

      Thanks.
      Apr 24
    • Well, think about if you worked for a FAANG or any other unicorn — they would give you an initial grant of at least $700k worth of RSUs, vesting over 4 years. With your experience, your TC would be at least $400k per year.

      Now, also consider the risk factor of joining the unicorn — it may be unlikely, but there may be an economic downturn before IPO that affects its valuation for example. (If it’s Fair or Bird, that’s a possibility.)

      So, yeah...you should have some upside to joining a startup, considering that you can’t go liquid immediately (and time is money) and the risk involved. I’d ask for at least $1M from this unicorn (vesting over 4 years).
      Apr 24
  • Microsoft / Eng
    glub

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Cubic
    glubmore
    Ask for more base and maybe sign-on, but treat stock as worthless paper unless you think IPO or buyout is a sure thing.
    Apr 24 0
  • Snapchat snap
    This seems way too low for that much YOE even in LA. I know people in LA with about 2 YOE making $200k+
    Apr 25 7
    • Hortonworks
      Sb7Kz8w

      Hortonworks

      PRE
      VersionOne
      Sb7Kz8wmore
      Outside of Snap, FAANG. It is pretty hard to reach 200k regardless of year of experience in LA.
      Apr 25
    • Snapchat snap
      Not true. There are other unicorns in LA that easily pays $200k+ TC. Niantics, Tinder, Unity, Headspace and Fair... just to name a few
      Apr 25
    • Wayfair YJEO27
      Niantics?
      Apr 25
    • Wayfair YJEO27
      Could you name some more please
      Apr 25
    • Hortonworks
      Sb7Kz8w

      Hortonworks

      PRE
      VersionOne
      Sb7Kz8wmore
      Hortonworks
      Apr 25
  • Indeed assmann
    Are you already based in LA?
    Apr 24 1
    • Dun & Bradstreet r1k2m3sql
      OP
      Yes, I do not have to reallocate
      Apr 24
  • Google
    AIMLOK

    Google

    BIO
    I once served 5TB
    AIMLOKmore
    Sounds low
    Apr 24 0
  • Wayfair YJEO27
    Could you DM me the name of the company? Looking to relocate to Santa Monica
    Apr 24 0

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