KBย inย ย 
Solution Architectย atย Intelย 

Offer evaluation

Offer from a series A start up. $275K + 0.05% equity with high strike price and investor valuation.


Is it good or bad for a series A start up offering high strike price and having high investor valuation?


Any tips on how to negotiate this offer?



Current Comp: $250K + equity. YOE: 7 years

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eightysixerSoftware Engineerย ย 
I feel like startups have been stingy with equity lately. I got 0.05% equity at a Series B back in 2022. For a Series A, really should be 0.5% or more, unless they are in the middle of the Series B or already have significant headcount. The trend seems to be startups are raising bigger rounds in order to pay higher cash comp, but then dialing back the equity side. A couple sites worth reading on startup equity and negotiation: https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/equity-for-software-engineers/ https://aleph1.io/blog/equity-negotiation-startup-tips/ My two cents: That's impressive cash comp for a startup, I don't think you're going to negotiate that higher. You could trade some of that cash comp for more equity, or you could try to negotiate better terms on exercising - I assume these are ISOs - such as longer post termination exercise window, shorter or no vesting cliff, etc. My own personal regret was getting laid off 10+ months in towards my 12 month cliff, and then not allowed to exercise anything. The strike price itself isn't a concern because that's a function of valuation and number of shares, but a very high valuation can be problematic. For however much runway the startup has left, they either need to raise at a much higher valuation or reach profitability, and raising a round at too high a valuation can make it difficult or impossible to raise the next round if the growth isn't there.
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