Posterous (S08) Raises $4.4 Million

San Francisco based Posterous, a fast growing publishing platform, has taken a $4.4 million investment from Redpoint Ventures. Partner Satish Dharmaraj, who is also an individual investor in Posterous, led the round and joins the company’s board of directors (and he maintains his personal blog at Posterous here).

Posterous, founded in 2008 by Sachin Agarwal, Garry Tan and Brett Gibson, is a Y Combinator company that began as a way for users to very easily post pictures online. Its appeal lies in its simplicity – users can just email a photo to post@posterous.com and an account is immediately created for them. But today people are using Posterous for videos and text blogs as well. Users can change the CSS and even use their own domain names – see Guy Kawasaki’s HolKaw blog, for example, which is run by Posterous.

full article at techcrunch.com

 

Y Combinator Will Now Accept Late Applications

The deadline for applying for the summer 2010 funding cycle is today at 10 pm Pacific. We moved the deadline earlier this year to decrease the stress for applicants who get offers from the increasing number of other YC-like organizations.

But it seems too much to expect that everyone who will start a startup in June will have decided to by the beginning of March, so this cycle we're going to try something new. We're going to consider late applications right up till the summer cycle starts at the beginning of June.

We don't recommend applying late if you can get an application in by the deadline, because we're going to be much less likely to accept late applications. Nor can we promise anything about how quickly we'll respond. But at least now if someone decides to start a startup in April and emails us asking if they can apply for the summer cycle, we won't have to tell them to wait till the next winter.

You don't have to do anything special to submit a late application. Just use the normal application url, http://news.ycombinator.com/apply, and if it's past the deadline the software should tell you you're now filing a late application. But remember that this is a new experiment, so while we'll do our best to look at all late applications reasonably promptly, we make no promises about how closely we'll read them or when we'll respond.

I'm interviewing the founders of AirBnB live today at 1:30 pm (PT)

At 1:30 pm (PT) today I'll be interviewing Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, two of AirBnB's founders. Tune into Justin.tv (http://www.justin.tv/jessicaycombinator#r=XHx3dbY~&s=li) to watch the interview.

Lots of people have suggested I do interviews like the ones in Founders at Work with the YC founders. When I saw Andrew Warner's Mixergy interviews, I realized that this could be an awesome way to do it. So I'm planning to do a series of live interviews with YC founders-- mostly about when they first got started. It should be interesting because I know these founders pretty well and I know what to ask them about.

Thanks to my friends at Justin.tv-- especially Randall Bennett who set everything up for me and patiently answered my questions-- and to Andrew Warner for some helpful tips!

Welcome Harj

We're happy to announce that we're hiring Harjeet Taggar to work for YC. Harj was a founder of Auctomatic, which we funded in winter 2007, and which went on to be acquired by Live Current Media in 2008. Officially Harj is in charge of biz dev, but he's going to do pretty much everything we do, including selecting and advising startups.

We've known Harj since he interviewed at YC in the fall of 2006. We liked him immediately, and that opinion hasn't changed. We think you'll like him too. He's exactly what we look for in a founder: smart and determined, but also a genuinely nice guy.

If you're applying to YC this cycle, you may have noticed that on the page explaining how to apply, we say that "groups that apply early have a significant advantage." We're referring to Harj, who has already started to engage with groups that seem promising.

If you live near Seattle, you can meet Harj in person tonight at the YC Meetup.

The First YC Conference

Recently we realized that the YC alumni network is now so big that we could start to organize entire conferences where the audience and the speakers were all YC founders.  There are now around 450 alumni, most of them still in the Bay Area, and some of the older startups are now quite formidable.  We had the first conference last night, about SEO, and it it seems to have been a success.

The atmos at a conference where all the participants already have some connection to one another is much more productive.  The speakers were completely open, because they knew they didn't have to worry about someone cherry picking quotes in a blog post to make them look bad.  And the questions from the audience were much more focused.  I learned a lot.  In fact it was one of the most interesting conferences I've attended, and I'm not even interested in SEO.

(Did you know Google actually has more like 85% market share, as measured by referral traffic?  A lot of searches on Yahoo and Bing are actually internal searches.  Even more interesting is that Google doesn't try to correct the public perception that their share of the search market is lower.  They're so dominant they'd rather seem smaller.)

The speakers included Ian Hogarth of Songkick (S07), Jared Friedman of Scribd (S06), Tony Wright of RescueTime (W08), and one person who wasn't part of the alumni network: Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, whom Ian described as "the Jedi Master of SEO."  When we were asking which of the alumni knew the most about SEO, a lot of people after recommending someone would add: "but Rand Fishkin is the guy you really want." So we asked Rand if he could come and were delighted to find he could.  One thing I've learned from doing YC is to be able to recognize people who know what they're talking about, even when I don't understand the domain.  Rand is a guy who knows what he's talking about.

He posted his presentation online: http://www.scribd.com/doc/27319437/SEO-for-Startups-YCombinator-February-2010

Since this worked so well we're going to organize more conferences. The next two will be about fundraising and acquistion-- two more topics where the experts know all kinds of interesting tricks, but will only talk candidly about them to people they trust.