How PlanGrid (YC W12) will save NEA Baptist Hospital almost $2M, for an ROI of 7753.41%

The NEA Baptist Hospital is one of thousands of projects leveraging PlanGrid for construction document management. This Arkansas-based project is around 770,000 squre feet, has a two and half year construction schedule, and a project cost of $175 million.

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Adding up time, paper and rework savings together results in annual savings of $786,196[5] per year or $1,965,490[6] over the entire length of the project. The total project cost for PlanGrid including hardware and subscriptions for the 13 users was $10,140 per year[8]. This leads to an ROI of 7753.41% or 77x.[7]

Read the full post on The Plangrid Blog

Teleborder (YC S13) uses tech smarts and SaaS to cut through the red tape of getting visas for all your workers

While immigration reform continues to be a hot topic of contention in the U.S., Teleborder, a new startup that’s part of the current batch of YC companies, has developed a service that aims to tackle another aspect of the issue: the immense amount of red tape that companies have to go through once theydo decide to employ someone from outside the U.S.

The problem, says co-founder and CEO James Richards, is that when it comes to work visas, while a lot of companies are keen to bring in top talent to fill vacant positions, even when the U.S. immigration authorities have created channels for them to do so, it’s time-consuming to gather together the different documents needed, and very easy to get it wrong, get the application rejected, and then have to start again.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Coinbase (YC S12) in the New Scientist: Launching instant Bitcoin micro payments off-blockchain

The New Scientist, in the recent magazine edition writes: "Micropayments now ready to slash price of online news":

The digital currency Bitcoin could help. Coinbase, a digital wallet and platform that lets anyone with a US bank account buy and trade Bitcoin currency, announced last week that it is now supporting instant, free micropayments, in Bitcoins, with none of these drawbacks. In a blog post, Coinbase CEO and founder Brian Armstrong wrote that Coinbase would start handling small – typically under $1 – Bitcoin transactions "off-blockchain". That means each one wouldn't have to go through the algorithmic validation process across the whole Bitcoin network, which can take a few minutes or more, but would instead be sent directly between two Coinbase accounts and validated later.

These microtransactions could let users read the rest of a New York Timesarticle for a few cents instead of signing up for a full monthly subscription, Armstrong wrote, or "pay for Wi-Fi internet metered by the minute (or second!) if you just need to check one email" or "support your favorite artists or coders with a tip".

Anthony Ha at Techcrunch gets the tour of Homejoy (YC S10): Launched in 26 cities in 6 months

Anthony Ha at Techcrunch writes

If I were ranking startups based on how much I value their services, Homejoy would place pretty darn near the top — every month or so, one of their cleaners comes by my apartment and in two or three hours it becomes more sparkly than I’ve ever been able to make it. All for just 20 bucks an hour.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

FundersClub (YC S12) goes invite-only

“Democratizing venture capital” sounds great until equity crowdfunding fills startup financing rounds with amateur angels who don’t add value. So while other funding platforms open the floodgates to any accredited investor, and eventually anyone if the JOBS Act goes into full effect, FundersClub will now only accept investors who’ve been invited by existing members or applied for an invite.

FundersClub was a pioneer in the equity crowdfunding space when it launched a year ago. The company acts as an online VC that vets startups looking to raise money, secures space in their upcoming funding round, and then lets its members invest money to fill up the space. The idea is not to replace traditional expert venture capitalists, but augment them with a crowd of evangelists, recruiters and connectors.

Since it was founded, the Y Combinator-accelerated FundersClub has raised $6.5 million for itself. It has also collected $7.2 million for its 31 portfolio companies from its crowd of 6,700 investors.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Coinbase (YC S12) adds SMS commands for easy mobile bitcoin transfers and requests

Coinbase has added SMS commands to their already user-friendly Bitcoin wallet and purchasing systems. The system, which uses simple commands (qr $100 will make a QR code for a $100 request to your account) and a trusted phone to make things a bit easier on BTC lovers.

Another example, “request 1.5 user@example.com sold him a bucket of steam,” allows you to request 1.5 BTC from a certain user with a note in the request. You can read more about the commands on Coinbase’s blog.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Toutpost (YC S13) is turning online debates into the best central repository for product info and advice

I’ll just throw this out there right now: I am known around TechCrunch for making, let’s say, unwise purchasing decisions. Whereas my problem stems mostly from making those choices without much forethought, others suffer from the reverse. Some people will do research until they’re blue in the face, and they still can’t make a decision.

That’s where Amir Elaguizy, Alex Morse and Paul DeVay come in. The trio has formed a Y Combinator-backed startup called Toutpost that wants to make it easier to figure out what you should buy. How? By basically harnessing the passion and ire of fanboy throwdowns in order to give people actual, valuable purchasing advice.

“We want to remove merchants from the review process,” co-founder Amir Elaguizy told me. “Those other review aggregators are telling a story about stuff; we’re trying to tell a story about people.”

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Bloomthat (YC S13) launches on-demand flowers for $35 in 90 minutes in SF, to disrupt $8B flower delivery market

OK, so there are now Ubers-for laundryhouse cleaningdog walking, and I’ve heard rumors of an Uber-for-pedicures, although I cannot confirm at this time that such a thing exists.

But, in another spin on the growing number of startups that build services on-demand, YC is graduating an Uber-for-flowers startup this summer called Bloomthat.

They promise to deliver flowers to anywhere in San Francisco in less than 90 minutes. And yes, it works.

You pick one of four bouquets or a succulent, which cost $35, submit your billing details and a destination. Voila! About 90 minutes later, a courier will show up at the desired point bearing a bouquet in a burlap sack. The photo below is of an actual bouquet of dahlias I had delivered a few days ago.

There is also a florist’s choice bouquet for $45.

So really, how big could the Uber-for-flowers market be?

Bloomthat’s co-founder Matthew Schwab says the cut flower market is $8 billion nationally and that competitors like FTD, Teleflora and 1-800 Flowers aren’t adapting quickly enough for people to order flowers on demand from their phones.

“Basically our hypothesis is if we offered a better product that’s faster, we’d get people to send flowers more often,” he said.

Read the full article on Techcrunch