Two offers, private vs public

Microsoft gGgC35
Sep 14 13 Comments

Hey everybody,

9yoe, TC: 300k

Looking for some help here, I am currently choosing between two bay area offers. One is your standard FAANG offer with RSUs vesting over 4 years (TC ~400k). The other offer from a private company comes up just shy of that offer for salary, sign-on bonus, and yearly bonus but they are offering stock options instead of RSUs. The options vest over a similar time period and once vested, are good for 10 years even if I leave the company. All they've told me is the current strike price of those shares but they wouldn't tell me how many outstanding shares exist, what percent ownership the equity represents, or the current preferred price per share. The recruiter mentioned that there is a legal reason she is unable to do so, seemed like they're either doing another round of funding (they just did a series c last year) or something else big. They've also mostly frozen hiring except for a few teams.

This is the first time I've had an offer with options so I'm a little unsure of how to proceed. I *think* I'm missing information to properly compare these offers. I am mostly sure that the private company is not in any sort of trouble, from all public knowledge of their finances they're doing quite well and are not over valued for their revenue. I expect them to be a huge player in the future.

Any thoughts?

comments

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Zyzyxtech ⚽️s
    It’s a big risk to join a startup without understanding your stock worth. Without any knowledge of their outstanding shares, potential valuation growth, etc, I would imagine the worst. On the other hand, you mentioned that their salary, bonuses etc come close to your FAANG offer, so looks like the company is well funded. You should just tell them that you can’t evaluate their offer without more information about their stock and potential, and you might end up taking the other offer.
    Sep 14 0
  • Microsoft / Eng kwodk
    msft 300tc is big for 9yoe
    Sep 14 3
    • Microsoft gGgC35
      OP
      Yeah I've pretty consistently gotten 180% since I've been here.
      Sep 14
    • Microsoft / Eng kwodk
      level 65?
      Sep 14
    • Microsoft gGgC35
      OP
      64
      Sep 15
  • Google fangu
    If you take the offer with private company and stock options, you'll likely have to exercise them when you leave(assuming company is still private). Basically you'll have to pay when you leave to maintain your equity position in the company (because it's options, and not RSUs). Otherwise you lose them.
    Sep 14 0
  • Google dl123
    Seconded. If I was in this situation, I'll choose the FAANG offer.
    Sep 14 0
  • Reddit gRfk60
    Ask how long you have to exercise your options if you leave the company. If it’s standard 90 days and they’re offering you a ton of options then it’s nearly impossible to leave unless you have the cash to exercise or you just don’t give a fuq about the options. They might have an extended exercise period (some private companies give like 7 years after you leave). Definitely worth asking!
    Sep 14 2
    • Microsoft gGgC35
      OP
      They said it's 10 years even if I leave.
      Sep 14
    • Reddit gRfk60
      That’s great. I don’t know but if you’re into the company, the work and think they have trajectory go for it. The public company isn’t going anywhere and they’ll most likely take you back whenever you want.
      Sep 15
  • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
    Google - Golden handcuffs startup

    See that if that might apply to you in future.
    Sep 14 0
  • New Amazony
    Unfortunately these days very rarely can the allure of a startup match the hefty TC at FAANG etc
    Sep 14 0
  • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
    Strike price and total number of stocks?
    Sep 14 0