Evaluate initial offer

Jan 4 7 Comments

I have an offer from late stage startup (series D funding recently). They are offering SDE2 level (similar to amazon sde2)
Base - $150k
options - at present strike price and FMV (Fair market value) worth ~ $125k

The company is selling on the potential growth of the options in the next few years. I don’t have much idea about offers from startups, so any advice would be appreciated. From what I have read here, I dont think I can negotitate much on the base salary. How much options should I ask for?

I have offers from Uber for L4 and OCI for IC3 level as well.

yoe: 4.5

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TOP 7 Comments
  • What did Uber and OCI offer?

    Uber can match that and at least the shares have some value.
    Jan 4 0
  • Amazon readme.q
    Similar to amazon sde2? 😂😂😂 except for the 100k less in actual money.

    But now seriously - options should be counted as 0
    I grew with a company from seed to over 100mil value and have tons of friends working and having startups - 99% of the options are worth exactly 0$
    Unless your joining a company that very clearly gonna turn options to money soon (let’s say DoorDash in my opinion) then you shouldn’t value that as tc in any way. And even if something happens - it’s not necessary that it will rise in value.

    People also tend to forget that if they leave before it’s actually stock - they have to pay strike price to keep the options (basically giving an interest free loan to the company to keep the theoretical options)

    Bottom line - if you really believe in the startup and you are considerably leveled up - maybe
    Otherwise? Pass

    Also - if it’s sde2 level and you ain’t getting the $$$ in tc (not counting options) insist on higher base
    More like 200k with less yearly options
    Jan 5 0
  • New / Eng LxxC41
    Options? I would count them as zero, they are not RSUs.
    Jan 4 1
    • Microsoft nrique7
      OP
      I understand that as of now the value is zero, and they will be worth anything only in case of an exit (IPO or sale to another public company). That’s the risk of a startup.
      Jan 4
  • Sounds like Convoy
    Jan 5 0
  • Two Sigma npamxjr
    The only reason to join a startup is for the options lottery ticket. Nobody here can value those properly because we know nothing about the company. Instead of focusing on FMV, focus on the valuation of the company as a whole and your % ownership. Negotiate on % ownership, not on total number of options.
    Jan 5 0
  • Amazon Northman
    That offer is very "eh". Unless there is something we are missing here, just take the Uber offer, they can beat this by a significant margin.
    Jan 4 0

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