# Burn Rate (Finance) - Explained

What is a Burn Rate?

# What is a Burn Rate?

Venture capital is spent by a new company for overhead finance prior to the generation of its operations positive cash flow is described as burn rate. This is the measurement of negative cash flow. Cash spent monthly is how burn rate is typically quoted. For instance, a company that spends \$1 million per month would have a burn rate of \$1 million.

## How Does the Burn Rate Work?

The monthly cash spent by investors and startup companies is tracked by the burn rate. The burn rate a company uses also is a guide to measure its runway, the available timeframe the company has before all of the money is gone. In this figure, there is \$1 million dollars in the bank. Every month the company spends \$100,000, therefore the actual burn rate would be equal to \$100,000 and the runway would equal 10 months. This is formulated as (\$100,000) divided by (\$100,000) =10. Gross burn and net burn are the two types of burn rates. The total amount of operating costs incurred in a calendar month is the companies gross burn. The total amount of money lost by a company monthly is the net burn. A gross burn rate of \$30,000 for a technology startup would be if it spent \$5,000 on the rental of office space, monthly server costs equaling \$10,000, and \$15,000 on wages and salaries for the engineers. But the net burn rate would be different if revenue was already being produced by the company. For a company that has monthly revenues of \$20,000 and \$10,000 (COGS) cost of goods sold, operating at a loss would still see a reduction in its overall burn. The net burn would be \$20,000 in this scenario when calculated as: \$20,000 - \$10,000 - \$30,000 = \$20,000. The amount of money in the companies bank and the financial runway are both affected by this distinction and that is very important here. If \$30,000 is the gross spending, and the actual loss per month is \$20,000 and the bank balance is \$100,000 then the runway would be five months instead of only three months. The net burn is what dictates how company strategies are handled by the managers and the investment amount that an investor would want to give to the company. Regardless of the amount of money in the bank, when the forecasts are exceeded by the burn rate or when expectations of revenue fail to be met, the burn rate must be reduced as a manner of recourse. The result is normally a reduction in staff at this point.