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Wren's year 1 financial report

We're committed to being transparent about our impact, business model, and spending. This report explains how much funding we received in the 12 months since we launched, and where it went.

Published: July 2, 2020

Last Updated: 12 months ago

Over the past 12 months, Wren brought in $339,133 to fund projects that reduce or remove CO2 emissions.

Eighty percent of that went directly to projects so they could plant trees, protect rainforest, and turn agricultural waste into clean cooking fuel. In total, Wren users prevented or removed 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions! That's like taking 6,500 cars off the road for a year or switching 5,000 homes to renewable electricity.

The other 20% of funds were reinvested to pay our team and grow our reach. Specifically:

  • $15,436 went to transaction fees
  • $65,568 went to covering expenses. Still, we have had a net loss over the past 12 months (as expected while we're getting Wren off the ground).

Our biggest month for offsets last year was February, where we offset over 5,000 tons in 1 month! Things have slowed down a bit since Coronavirus hit but we're still making improvements every day and growing the total number of subscribers.

Our expenses

We've spent $239,089 in the past 12 months. Here's what we spent it on:

Compensation + team expenses

Paying people for the work they do for Wren is our biggest cost. We currently have four employees on payroll, and one part time contractor. Here's how our payroll breaks down:

  • Median pay for Wren employees: $80,000
  • Average pay for Wren employees: $93,750
  • The CEO is paid $80,000 per year, same as the median pay
  • We pay our part-time writer $60 per hour

We think these are appropriate salaries, much less than what they might be at a big tech company but still plenty to live off of in San Francisco. We're doing this because we really want to stop climate change, not because we want to make a bunch of money!

Other expenses

  • Software ($16,127): we invest in good software tools to make us move faster. These are mostly tools for developing and designing Wren.
  • Advertising and marketing ($7,824): this is one of the highest leverage things we can spend money on, if we get it right. A few dollars spent on marketing can lead to a Wren supporter who sends hundreds of dollars to projects.
  • Accounting, legal, and admin costs ($5,672): boring but important!
  • Servers ($3,071): it costs some money to host our site and make sure it's fast around the world.

Current Funding Available

We currently have $1.4 million in the bank, mostly from investors who see the potential for Wren to have a huge impact for our climate (check out our post on why Wren is a Public Benefit Corporation). We probably won't ever need to fundraise again, but fundraising can be super helpful if we see an opportunity to grow our team or scale up marketing down the road. Of course, we would only do this if it was the most impactful route possible for Wren.

Looking Ahead

Over the next year, our main expense will still be paying the team. We'll likely hire a couple engineers and marketers over the next 12 months, and increase spending on marketing, but percentage-wise our expenses will probably be similar. The biggest change to our budget will come from growing the number of people offsetting their carbon footprint. If we grow enough, we'd like to reduce the percent fee we take or even switch to a tipping model.

Learn why Wren is a Public Benefit Corporation.

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