Talking to a pre IPO company and the recruiter said the shares would be valued at 1.9 million after 4 years. What does this mean? I’m super confused.

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Recruiters make stuff up all the time.

I bet you what they did is:
1) Granting you 400K RSU shares vesting over 4 years
2) Each share is worth $0.1 now or $40K total based on what the investors paid for the company in the last funding round, let’s say the company was worth $1B. Let’s ignore that investors got preferred shares for now.
3) You’re joining the company at the ground level. In 4 years we’re confident we can grow the company to $48B. Based on that your shares are worth $1.9M.

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it is, I would not consider startup equity as comp whatsoever. Sure, if it works out you get a nice payday, but do not count on it.

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If they’re issuing you ISO”s, keep in mind you still have to purchase them at the strike price and are worth something only when an acquisition or ipo occurs. They are worthless until one of those financial events occur.

If it’s a public company and they’re offering rsu”s then they have a dollar value to it.

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