When Burn Rate Outweighs Enthusiasm

Anything's Possible

Despite that nearly all venture-backed startups burn capital unsustainably, Uber’s level of spending is viewed as particularly problematic among its naysayers. It will be able to sustain its burn rate based on that excitement unless something surprising happens to its business, or it goes public. It doesn’t matter whether a company’s burn rate is $10K per month or $10 million per month, companies die when their burn rates are greater than investor enthusiasm.

ProfessorVC: Burn Rate

Professor VC

Burn Rate. The burn rates of my portfolio companies is certainly top of mind right now, but thats not what this post is about. Since Im not a fan of any of those genres, I have been looking forward to the release of his latest work, Burn Rate. Unable to conceive, they hire Annie Day as a surrogate to bear their fertilized egg to term. The protagonist, Ross Williamson, is struggling to finance his company and hang on to his team during the process.

Burn Rate


Fred posted on Burn Rate today. That's why hiring someone early on is such a big commitment. I failed to do that, though my practice prior to that year was to know everything about finances. So keep a close eye on your cash, your burn, and your revenue. It's a good read--definitely go read it after this post. But Fred's example is based on a funded company, where the amount of investment is known and up front.

After Funding, Watch Burn Rates And Beware The Tyranny Of Incrementalism

Anything's Possible

After struggling for months or years without any financing, most startup founders relish the opportunity to finally have the seed capital to accelerate the plan. At the moment of financing, this seems like a very high-class problem, until it isn’t, and it becomes a very real problem. At first the team is small and the initial burn rate barely moves the dial on the capital raised. Then the hiring begins. Not hire any people?

Founders – Use Your Down Round To Clean Up Your Cap Table

Feld Thoughts

” Many companies have hired ahead of their growth rate because they had the cash to do so. In our portfolio, we generally don’t have this problem because we aren’t big fans of either (a) overfunding companies or (b) escalating burn rates based on headcount. But, occasionally we find ourselves in the position on the board of a company where, as you look forward, you realize you are burning more than you should be for the stage you are at.

An Alternative to Board Decks Some Seed VCs Actually Prefer

View from Seed

Examples of housekeeping include the following list, though not every item will appear every time: Finance: Cash out date, burn rate, 409A valuation, cap table, common/preferred stock dashboard. Finance is mission critical, for instance – it just appears on a recurring basis.

Dragons, Bootstrapping and Women in Tech

Up and Running

Nelson has some tips: Know your burn rate. And this isn’t just for your business, but as many startup founders know, your personal finances can matter just as much (especially if you aren’t profitable yet). Lindsay Nelson, CEO of Theme Dragon, Inc.

GBP | Dirk Paessler | How to Grow & Stay Agile. Part 1: Top 6 Business Decisions

Business of Software Blog

Dirk considers six key business decisions that built Paessler AG to 160 people without external financing over the past 20 years. Managing growth “guided by culture” beats having a lot of venture capital (VC) money anytime, because we are driven by purpose, not burn-rate.

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Why Founders Should Know How to Code

Steve Blank

Speed keeps cash burn rate down while allowing you to converge on a repeatable and scalable business model. And that he could identify the resources needed, (outsourced contract developers who could build it for him) and he would hire a partner to do so.

9 Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Their Business Offhand

Up and Running

Renewal Rates. If you’re selling anything, understanding renewal rates is absolutely critical. This impacts every decision related to your business, from hiring more staff to expanding product offerings to investing in marketing. – Ben Rubenstein , Yodle. Burn Rate.

10 Startup Shortcuts That Will Be Back To Haunt You


Later, when your venture is trying to close on financing, or even going public, that forgotten partner surfaces, demanding their original share. Be quick to hire and slow to fire. Hiring after one interview is like hopping a red-eye to Vegas to get married after one date.

Create Structure out of the Gate and You’ll Thank Yourself Later

Feld Thoughts

Here’s the punchline: if you run your company as if you have closed a VC equity financing round even though you actually closed a convertible debt round, you’ll be in much better shape when it comes time to raise your Series A financing. This second kind of seed financing can be a double-edged sword for the entrepreneur and company if not very carefully managed. They close on the $750k, hire a buddy or two, buy some Macs, and get to work.

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Startup Revenue Milestones

K9 Ventures

And in order to do that they need to either raise capital to be able to hire a team by paying them real dollars or recruit co-founders who are willing to share the journey based on the equity stake and bootstrap the company.

3 Ways Structure Can Take Your Tech Startup To New Heights


Speaking intelligently about your company’s current (and future) performance means regular check-ins with your finances. Use burn rate as an example. by Gadiel Morantes , chief revenue officer at Early Growth Financial Services. A Jenga tower is a precariously built one.

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10 Startup Shortcuts That Will Be Back To Haunt You

Startup Professionals Musings

Later, when your venture is trying to close on financing, or even going public, that forgotten partner surfaces, demanding their original share. Be quick to hire and slow to fire. Hiring after one interview is like hopping a red-eye to Vegas to get married after one date.

10 Avoidable Mistakes Cause Entrepreneurs Much Pain

Startup Professionals Musings

Later, when your venture is trying to close on financing, or even going public, that forgotten partner surfaces, demanding their original share. Quick to hire and slow to fire. Hiring after one interview is like hopping a red-eye to Vegas to get married after one date.

How Great, Operationally-Focused CFO’s Can Transform Your Business

Both Sides of the Table

For a well-funded seed company I have controversially recommended hiring a great office manager that doubles as an administrative assistant. This happens because many CEOs are passionate, market-driven people who are constantly trying to launch new products, win contracts, get press, hire staff and woo VCs. A great finance leader is on top of your numbers with such precision that you don’t have to worry about it. Hire a great CFO.

Clear Eyes, Full Heart: Beating The Series A Crunch


It has been widely reported that at there will be least 1,000 orphan startups this year - companies that raised a seed round last year and will fail to raise follow on financing. Lowering Burn Rate.

Being Fat Is Not Healthy

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

And the success rate of fat companies versus lean companies is stark. A boatload of cash are monthly burn rates of tens of millions of dollars. But the single thing that is true about every single one of the twenty most successful web software investments I've been involved in is that they had significant user or customer adoption before ramping up hiring and spend. Ben Horowitz has a post called The Case For The Fat Startup on the All Things D blog.

“Venture Assistance”: A Philosophical View Of What Boards Should And Should Not Do


He knows how to advise entrepreneurs on hiring/firing, running teams, managing funding, when/how to control burn rate, and making other tough management decisions in the real environment of startups. Good advisors have also done a lot of hiring and know what to look for.

7 Reasons You Need a Mentor

Inc Startups

And as your venture grows, odds are good that you'll need help with different things in broad categories like strategy, finance, people and product. Cash burn rate? Hiring and Firing How do you decide whom to hire and whom to dismiss?

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How to Find the Perfect Startup Job: Part III "Selecting the Right Venture"

Genuine VC

Start-ups hire ahead of growth (or at least predicted growth), which translate into a viable company, a healthy work environment, and future internal opportunities. The timing of the last round is also important - the closer you are to joining a company in conjunction with a financing event, the more recently validated it is by a professional investor – but also the value of your financial upside is less. What is the burn rate and how much cash is in the bank now?

ProfessorVC: Crowdfunding - Good Idea or Really, Really Stupid.

Professor VC

Since small businesses are responsible for the vast majority of new jobs, legislators believe that these new rules will make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital and ramp up hiring. Burn Rate. I also teach Entrepreneurial Finance at San Jose State. ProfessorVC.

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Behind the Series B Crunch: Profligate Entrepreneurs or Stingy Investors?

Inc Startups

Are startups burning through their early funding rounds faster? They didn’t look at A rounds that were funded in 2012 or later, since those companies might not be ready for another round of financing quite yet.) It could also simply be that their burn rates are higher.

The Economics of Dropbox

Web 2.0 Development and Business Lessons

At a rate of 10 cents/GB we get a cost of $770,000/month. With Amazons rate of 8 cents/GB we get around $620,000/month. At this level of profitability we see that Dropbox would need between 317,000 and 393,000 paid users to cover costs, or a conversion rate of 1.3% Web 2.0

Startup Grind Turns the Tables on Mark Suster

Both Sides of the Table

I got a job at a bank, and I worked in their corporate finance group. We had a finance group for all of the bank branches based in San Diego, and I wrote programs to download stuff from the mainframe so we could do analysis three days faster than they could send us the data. And for every time I’ve felt hugely stressed that our burn rate was getting too high, and I didn’t know who else was going to fund the company, and I’m all in on this company, right?”

How much does it cost to build the world’s hottest startups?

The Next Web

Therefore, if you want to bring an MVP ( Minimum Viable Product ) to market, Werdelin approximates that you’ll need $50,000 to $250,000 , depending on the skill sets of the developers and designers you hire. Of course, if you’re hiring an agency, you’re probably looking at 1.5

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Five common misconceptions about building a startup in New York City

This is going to be BIG.

It’s often some combination of the idea not being big enough to sustain a venture exit or the company just not being appropriate for venture financing. My company was not well executed enough to achieve venture capital financing—and that wasn’t the city’s fault, it was mine.

Stock Market Drops. Then It Rallies. What Happens Next for Funding?

Both Sides of the Table

Finance where needed. Companies raised too much money in 2005-08 and had high burn rates. We have the inability to hire engineering in Silicon Valley or brand sales people in NYC but the country still has very high structural long-term unemployment.

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HubSpot Fires First Shot in Boston Battle For Talent: $10,000 Bounty


We’re known for hiring kick-ass people and not suffering fools. Strict “No Jerks” Rule: We don’t hire jerks. Over on the west coast, companies like Google and Facebook are duking it out for top tech talent.

ProfessorVC: Rebuild our Inner Cities one Venture at a time?

Professor VC

If the rest of the country were experiencing the new company growth, hiring challenges, decreasing office vacancies and rising rents that we are in the Bay Area, the economy wouldnt be the top issue in the presidential campaign. Generally I don't hire them since it takes to long to train them in how real business works, not just in text books. Burn Rate. I also teach Entrepreneurial Finance at San Jose State. ProfessorVC. The last blogger in Silicon Valley.

The Way I Work: Amos Winbush III, CyberSynchs

Inc Startups

Joe Gemmo, my director of finance, comes in at 8 o'clock. We talk a lot about burn rate. We're hiring a new COO, so we're also going through candidates for that.

Managing Startups: Best Posts of 2011

Platforms and Networks

Presentation by Cindy Alvarez of KISSmetrics on conversion rate benchmarks for different types of web businesses (big download, but worth the wait!). Andrew Chen collects retention rate metrics from several sources. Cindy Alvarez on how to analyze reasons for low signup rates. Avinash Kaushik offers three techniques for analyzing website conversion rates and describes why and how marketers should use controlled experiments.

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Why Co-Founders Are a Startup's Biggest Liability | The Startup Lawyer


About the Author Ryan Roberts is a startup lawyer and represents technology companies through all phases of the startup process, including incorporation, seed & venture financings, and exit transactions. Who must be a co founder and who can remain a hired principal? When I find, and hire on options, the three perfect CEs/directors must I consider them co founders and treat them accordingly? Who must be a co founder and who can remain a hired principal?

25 Best Startup Failure Post-Mortems of All Time


created a vastly higher cost structure; I had 80 people mostly on base salaries under $100,000 and was bringing in revenue at the rate of $20 million annually. Post-Mortem Title : My eHarmony for Hiring Failure. – made compromises in early hiring decisions – choose expediency over talent/competency. Hiring is hard, and without proper experience, we should have leaned more heavily on our investors to help us with this decision. Education. About.

Great Elevator Pitches: What to Include

Entrepreneurship Blog

Furthermore, many of venture partners have finance or consulting backgrounds and they may not be technically savvy. What will your burn rate be? How many people will you hire?

Startup Post-Mortem: Admazely and why it failed


In 2012 Søren Holbech joined and later they got seed financing: SEED Capital and business angels Martin Bochineck and Christina Rind Helsbro invested about 600 000 Euro in the startup. And so I spent not that much time on the bridge financing, as long as I was convinced it was in place.