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  • Barsha Singh

Why companies tend to burn investors’ Money at a quick rate


One never wants to lose money, but we know that businesses who focus on rapid growth do lose money. For a variety of reasons, some companies lose money for a longer period of time than others. There isn't a single model that all businesses can follow when it comes to making money. If the company is losing money, that's fine in my book, as long as there's a path to profitability. Amazon and Facebook are good examples of companies prioritising growth over profit.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurs aren't always good stewards of venture capital funds. When a company's cash supply is depleted, it is said to be burning at a high burn rate. Assessing a company's cash flow lets investors know whether it is financially self-sufficient or whether additional funding is required. Two metrics are constantly monitored by entrepreneurs.

1) The quantity of cash accessible and

2) The monthly starting burn rate.

The current venture capital model focuses on market share, revenue growth or user traction. It does neither inspire frugality nor budgetary discipline.

• Startups ought to spend a lot of capital to drive toward success, therefore the aim is not as easy as minimising burn rate.

• Understand unit economics and cost of expansion; then strive for around 12 months of runway.

• Expect expenditures to alter over time and budget appropriately – talent frequently most substantially influences the cost of expansion.

Knowing the subtleties of your burn rate may make or break your next round. When it comes to startups, the cliche that “cash is king” only goes so far. Layer in other frequent business catchphrases such as “growth at all costs” and “always raise more than you need” and it’s enough to make an early early-stage founder’s head spin. Having cash is crucial, of course, but more so is understanding how to handle it and when to spend it. However, learning to be smart about your burn rate—and understanding why you should spend what you’re spending—isn’t always simple to figure out.


Understanding burn rate: the fundamentals

For the entrepreneur who has nothing more than an idea and some spare hours to explore it, the burn rate is unknown, says Tim Lipton, who has offered CFO services for more than 100 firms. With no financial assets, the only burn rate that counts is the founder’s estimated estimate of how long and how much it will cost to produce a product.

“Of course, you can’t know, but you’ve got to go out there and start making errors until you have a better sense for what it will take to accomplish critical product milestones,” he adds.

But it’s never too early to start thinking about a fundamental issue that will drive your eventual cash burn analysis: What sort of business do you plan to build? If you are targeting a big consumer market and won’t be pleased with anything less than an IPO, for example, you’ll need to make heavy expenditures to recruit top staff from other successful firms and develop a globally known brand. If you are constructing a gaming software or a cloud service servicing a specialised commercial market and think you’ll be purchased within a few years, your demand for funding will be smaller.

The primary topic which is in the present discussion is that how come these startups with losses acquire more & more funding from investors. Startups are paid by VCs to burn before they profit. Today there are more companies burning 10+ crores per month than ever before in the history of India. This is on purpose, creating a calculated loss and there is a rationale to this crazy of losing money. Investors finance companies focused on growth, not profitability. Choosing not to be profitable in favour of expansion is currently a strategy as long as in the future big gains can be projected. The public-listed IT unicorns in the US with losses have been faring far better than their profitable rivals. As per the Pitchbook analysis during the previous 9 years, profitability has scarcely made a difference for success.

Ways to Reduce Startup Burn Rate

• Focus on return on investment

• Hire the right people at the appropriate moment

• Have an MVP before requesting finance

• Select the correct space to scale


Focus on Return on Investment

After obtaining funding round, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of overpaying. When you have the resources to spend, purchasing fancy office equipment or engaging a team of top-tier designers is tremendously enticing. Even with an infusion of money, company entrepreneurs must spend prudently. Before every purchase, business entrepreneurs must make sure that every dime is driving startup growth. How would that new piece of software aid team members? Is this the time to recruit that product designer or developer? Be careful to examine the projected return on investment and spend intelligently!

Hire the Right People at the Right Time

Secondly, company entrepreneurs must avoid recruiting early. Does the company truly require a marketing person before obtaining an MVP? Probably not. Instead, entrepreneurs must concentrate on the responsibilities that they need right now. If introducing new product features is your current target, engage a professional and experienced developer. Are you struggling to manage client requests and inquiries? Consider employing a customer support crew. Spending too much on personnel is one of the reasons businesses burn through funds.

Moreover, business owners shouldn’t be hesitant to terminate underperforming workers or those who don’t connect with the firm’s fundamental objective or culture. In the end, rewarding these employees for their flaws adds to startup burn. Moreover, culturally mismatched personnel tend to transmit negativity and anger.


Have an MVP Before Seeking Financing

Thirdly, company owners must achieve a minimum viable product before seeking financial support. With a minimum viable product in place, business owners can spend their capital on product refinement, iteration, and more. Without a minimal viable product, entrepreneurs face the danger of spending cash on constructing an untested solution. There’s nothing worse than designing a product that people don’t desire or need. This is an easy method to burn up important venture capital cash. In reality, most experienced venture investors want a minimum viable product before investing!


Select the Right Space to Scale

Finally, many entrepreneurs make the error of splurging on pricey office leasing arrangements. Additionally, several of these offices are required to be supplied with office equipment, furniture, and more. These expenditures might soon lead to startup burn.

Instead, creators might consider joining a coworking community. These sorts of workplaces give members with amazing facilities, resources, and more. These exclusive services enable members to enhance their functional capability, concentrate on development initiatives, and more. Joining a coworking space delivers tremendous cost savings to businesses and startups!

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