Unicorn offer using preferred price

Facebook EbQa23
Nov 9, 2018 12 Comments

I got a unicorn offer (think Uber / Airbnb / Lyft) and the recruiter presented the dollar value of the RSU’s using the preferred price, not the 409a price. Is this typical? They said all startups communicate RSU value using the preferred price but that doesn’t smell right.

Offer details:

L5 non-eng (think PM, design, or data science)

185k base
15% annual bonus
100k / year RSU’s (at current preferred price)
no sign-on

current FB comp: IC4, 155k / 10% / 120k per year RSU vest (mostly due to stock appreciation)


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TOP 12 Comments
  • Lyft bduajrb
    Preferred price is an actual price that has actually been paid for a large buyer. Especially as IPO nears it is definitely the most reflective of the value, since everyone gets common stock at IPO anyway. 409a is more interesting for earlier stage startups with more risk for investors and with less chance of IPO.
    Nov 10, 2018 1
    • Facebook EbQa23
      Thanks for this.
      Nov 10, 2018
  • Uber / Eng

    Uber Eng

    Unicorn startup did that for me as well. I think it’s normal
    Nov 9, 2018 1
    • Facebook EbQa23
      Thanks for this reply. It might be industry practice, but browsing Blind and thinking through it a bit it seems the prudent thing to do when comparing the Unicorn offer against my current FB comp is to use 409a valuation... cause liquidity uncertainty + liquidation preferences + IPO valuation uncertainty + lockup.
      Nov 9, 2018
  • Vertivco / Eng

    Vertivco Eng

    YouTube, American Bureau of Shipping, Facebook
    Company or GTFO
    Nov 9, 2018 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Uber pYrL55g
      What do you mean comp benefit?
      Nov 9, 2018
    • Glassdoor IPNO
      I think Nextdoor does not know the difference between options and RSU. You do no pay for RSU so anything above $0 is “comp benefit.”
      Nov 11, 2018
  • Move JUvY31
    Role or gtfo.
    Nov 9, 2018 1
    • Facebook EbQa23
      Happy to add this when I'm no longer in negotiations with the Unicorn, in a week or 2 (to not out myself)
      Nov 9, 2018
  • Google fakemews
    Paper money is not real money.
    Nov 9, 2018 0
  • New / Eng

    New Eng

    Structural engineer switching to data science.
    Did you end up accepting? Curious to see what your thought process was for leaving FB. I just started as DS, L5 a few months ago at FB.. Is the 120k per year with current price? If yes then it could be worth 220k plus if/when the stock recovers!
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • Uber / Eng DgoQ22
    Yes it’s standard. And it does make sense. 409A isn’t really the true reflection of the current market value.
    Nov 9, 2018 0