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.
- Zyzyxtech ⚽️sIt’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.
- Google fanguIf 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.
- 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!