Per Vices (YC W12) featured in Ars Technica: Could do for radio what the Apple I did for computing

In 1976, two shaggy-haired college dropouts founded a company called Apple to manufacture personal computers. The company's prospects looked so poor that the third co-founder relinquished his 10 percent stake in the company for $800 that same year. It simply wasn't clear why anyone would want the firm's Apple I computer. It was so under-powered that it couldn't perform many of the functions of mainframes and minicomputers that were already on the market. And most consumers had no interest in having a computer in their homes.

Today, of course, Apple is the world's largest company by market capitalization. What was important about the Apple I wasn't the meager capabilities of the original version, but the promise it held for rapid innovation in the coming decades.

Now, a company called Per Vices hopes to do for wireless communication what Apple did for computing. It is selling software-defined radio gear called the Phi that, like the Apple I, is likely to be of little interest to the average consumer (it was even briefly priced at the same point as the Apple I, $666.66, but has since been placed at $750). But the device, and others like it, has the potential to transform the wireless industry. This time, the revolution will depend on hackers enabled to manipulate radio signals in software.

Read the full article at Ars Technica (YC S12) brings easy file uploads and cloud services to iOS, Android and the web, a Y Combinator-backed company building tools that make it easier for developers to integrate access to cloud services within their applications, is now bringing its capabilities to mobile developers building apps on iOS and Android. With the new Mobile Library, developers can quickly add integrations which let their apps connect to popular online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Facebook, Flickr, Evernote and more.

For developers, the result of using the drop-in SDK is a sped up time to market, as Filepicker eliminates the need to code these type of integrations themselves. For end users of the apps, it means an easier way to move data between their favorite cloud services, without having to first save a copy locally to their device.

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Parallel Universe (YC S12) launches a spatial in-memory database for infinitely large 2D and 3D games and simulations

Parallel Universe is an Israeli technology company that promises video game companies the capability to make Matrix-style games through parallel processing, allowing millions of objects to be tracked in real-time. We’re talking about the ability to create a game with thousands of players and untold number of aliens and battleships shooting nuclear missiles and green rays. Really.

Founder Ron Pressler is a software engineer who has been developing simulated environments for the Israeli Air Force. He is part of this summer’s Y Combinatorclass. Spacebase, the company’s first product, is an offshoot of the military technology Pressler developed. It offers server-side, in-memory, low-latency, dynamic, concurrent and distributed spatial data-store for 2D and 3D spatial objects. Primary markets for the technology include MMO (massively multiplayer online) games, defense applications and location-based services.

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Stripe (YC S09) raises $20M Series B from General Catalyst, Redpoint, now used by over 100,000 developers

White-hot payments startup Stripe has closed a $20 million Series B round of financing, led by General Catalyst with existing A-list investors Sequoia, Peter Thiel (personally) and angels Chris Dixon, Aaron Levie and Elad Gil also following on. Redpoint will be coming on as a new investor.

Stripe’s valuation during this Series B was in the hundreds of millions, up to a half-billion dollars, according to a source (It’s unclear whether that valuation is pre- or post-money). The relatively under-the-radar company has already raised $20 million in prior funding from the aforementioned investors as well as PayPal co-founders Max Levchin and Elon Musk, with the under-reported $20 million Series A happening 12 months before this round closed.

While the startup has declined to share specific metrics, Stripe is “growing like Square” according to one well-informed source. In the same space as Braintree, Stripe wants to corner the online transaction market by streamlining the heinous process of building out a payments system.

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Plivo (YC S12) launches scalable API platform for Voice & SMS apps

Plivo, a telephony startup from the current Y Combinator batch, is today launching its API platform for voice and SMS applications. Despite the sound of it, Plivo is not a direct competitor with developer-friendly Twilio, but is targeting larger businesses in need of scale.


Launched six months ago in invite-only mode, Plivo now has a dozen customers, half of which are paying. From those paying customers, it now handles 4 million minutes per month on its platform. One of its customers switched from another provider and is now saving 60% in costs, says Venky.

Today, Plivo is exiting its invite-only status and making its platform available to all. For those wanting to use Plivo’s carriers, it’s available in the U.S. and Canada for now. For businesses with their own carrier relationships, Plivo can be used worldwide.

Read the full article at Techcrunch (YC W11) attracts 100K users in 2 months, adds screen and file sharing

Google Plus, eat your heart out. Group video conferencing service  to 100,000 users since launching in April. The startup’s three founders have been heads down developing screen-sharing and file transfer features, released today, with lofty plans of taking on Webex and other clunky video conference services for the enterprise.

The promise of this Y Combinator company is a free tool to start conversations with anyone in the world in seconds, no registration required. If you choose to sign up, you’ll be given a permanent meeting room. Invite up to 5 friends into your room with a link (for example,, and share a side-by-side screen.

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LeanMarket (YC S12) brings real-time bidding on display ads to the masses

“Real-time bidding” (where advertisers automatically bid on each ad impression) is a phrase that you hear more and more in the online ad world, but LeanMarket founder Cyrus Lohrasbpour says it’s still out-of-reach for smaller companies. Most RTB products are really built for large advertisers — they come with long-term commitments and high minimum ad buys, and to use them you have to negotiate with enterprise salespeople.

Lohrasbpour is looking to change that with his new startup, which offers a self-serve platform for real-time bidding. There are other self-serve options out there (for example, Engage:BDR launched one in May), but Lohrasbpour claims to be the first that’s “really lightweight and easy-to-use” while also getting the technology right. LeanMarket advertisers don’t have to deal with any salespeople, there’s no long-term commitment, and they can just pay by credit card.

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Flotype Bridge (YC W11) signs up over 1,000 developers in its first day, delivers 60M messages in its first week

In its first day, Bridge signed up 1,000 developers. In the span of one week the messaging platform has delivered more than 60 million messages. It has had more than 500 server downloads.

In January, the startup previously known as Flotype, announced it had raised $1.4 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners, InterWest, Yuri Milner, Salesforce, and Y Combinator. Flotype was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2011 class.

Read the full article on Techcrunch (YC W10) launches the easiest way for iOS developers to see what their users are doing

Good developers are constantly trying to get feedback on the user experience and navigation of their apps, in an effort to improve them before launch. But few tools exist right now that allow them to do so, outside of just watching beta users over their shoulders. was launched to solve that problem. By just adding a single line of code to their iOS apps, developers can now record users sessions in video, and see how users interact with the touch screen while controlling those apps. That will allow developers in turn to improve the user experience, streamline navigation, and eliminate confusing controls.

Read the full article on Techcrunch (YC S12) lets you earn cash for recommendations (and now, donate it to charities), a Y Combinator-backed startup that makes it easy for people to earn affiliate revenue every time they recommend a product or book, is now allowing its users to donate their earnings to charity.

The company, which only just launched six weeks ago, is syncing up with about 100 charities or so including the March of Dimes and American Heart Association. All proceeds can go to a user’s charity of choice. takes no cut. The company also started a summer reading campaign on behalf of Room to Read, which builds libraries in the developing world. The company is donating $1 for every book purchased through this month.

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