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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SwipeGood (YC W11) is now Elastic, a sales-as-a-service platform for startups

Elastic is a “sales-as-a-service” platform that provides both software and manpower that lets startups outsource their sales functions on demand. Efti sums it up thusly:

“We have a tech component and a sales component. We’ve built a sales communication platform that’s sort of our secret sauce, and that’s what our sales people use. The next part is the services business, where we let startups to essentially rent sales people in the cloud.”

Elastic has been received pretty well. “We’ve closed more than 300 deals for 10 different startups,” Efti said, noting that this has meant “millions” in dollars in top-line new sales for its clients. The team has grown from its 3 co-founders to a staff of 15, equally divided between “hackers” who build the company’s software platform and “hustlers” who help with the human-powered sales aspect. The headcount growth has been purely from Elastic’s own reinvested revenues (it takes a commission on the sales it helps companies generate) and Efti is looking to double the staff over the coming months.

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Acunote (YC W11) launches project management for software teams of 2 to 10,000 with a live Gmail-like interface

“On time and under budget” is manna from heaven for project managers the world over, but unfortunately for most of them, those working on the projects and those commissioning them, it’s not often the case. Now, a Y Combinator alum (Winter 2011 class) called Acunote is launching a new project management system that wants to change that — by offering a platform to help people manage their tasks better.

With real time updates and a simple interface that bears a loose resemblance to Google’s Gmail, Acunote is making it a lot easier and quicker for people to update what is going on (and what is not) in a project. And it’s setting its sights on taking that to the next level with features to make it much more collaborative.

Acunote is formally launching now, but it’s actually been operating quietly for much longer, and already has an impressive list of clients on the platform. They include IBM, Fujitsu, VMWare, Eclipse, HP, EMC, Disney, Bump, Bank of America, and the FCC, who use Acunote to improve communication around assigning, organizing and completing tasks. That not only helps people work more efficiently — but it helps manage expectations for teams of workers when projects do hit a snag and get delayed.

Gleb Arshinov, the founder and CEO of Acunote, tells me that customer feedback so far has focused on how quick it is to use Acunote. Keyboard shortcuts and the simple interface, he says, makes it virtually “as fast as the speed of thought”.

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