HelloSign (YC W11) Launches New And Improved eSignature API

HelloSign launched a new API today:

Today we’re launching the new and improved HelloSign API, the easiest way for developers to build secure, legally binding eSignatures into applications. Businesses want the obvious advantages of taking their processes entirely online. Yet, most documents are still signed on paper, breaking online workflows.

The HelloSign API is built to solve this problem.

Quora in the next YC batch

This month, YC will be participating in Quora's most recent investment round and Quora will be joining this summer's YC batch.  This is a new experiment for us; we've funded later-stage companies before, but none close to Quora's stage.  Our hope is that both the company and the YC community will get a lot of value out of this.

We're not sure if it's something we'll do again; some of our experiments have worked and some of them haven't.  But Adam D'Angelo is awesome, and we're big Quora fans, so we're very excited to welcome Quora to the YC community.

Since it seems out of character for us, we thought we should say something about it.  Also, we won’t count Quora when we periodically announce stats on the YC portfolio.  Although they’re participating in the batch like any other company, they’re already so far along it doesn’t seem fair to include them.

Founder Ethics

One of the most valuable parts of Y Combinator is our community. As of Summer 2014, we have funded over 1,400 founders, and as the YC family grows, the continued strength of our network depends on founders behaving well.

Starting with this batch (YC S14), we'll be asking founders to review YC's statement of founder ethics. We hope putting these values into writing will help the community be as strong 100 years in the future as it has been so far.

PlanGrid (YC W12) adds Android, now used on 125,000 construction projects, adds 20K new blueprints a day

For the last two years, Y Combinator alum PlanGrid has helped modernize the construction industry by moving blueprints to tablets. After originally launching on the iPad, the company will now offer all the same features and capabilities on a wide variety of Android tablets.

At the end of the day, PlanGrid’s mobile app enables construction teams to cut paper out of their blueprint plans. Instead of printing out new versions of a blueprint every time it gets updated and sending them out to all the people on site, images can be uploaded and then viewed on tablets.

By moving blueprints off paper and onto tablets, PlanGrid helps to save construction teams a ton of money. But it also enables PlanGrid users to more efficiently use the blueprints they have, and more quickly update or make changes to them.

Last summer it added hyperlinking between plans stored on the app. Users can also mark up blueprints and quickly share changes or annotations with others.

Since launch, the company has been used on more than 125,000 construction projects, and more than 20,000 blueprints are uploaded every day to its network.

Optimizely (YC W10) Raises $57 Million to Enable the World to Turn Data into Action

Optimizely announced today that they raised $57 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Benchmark Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Optimizely has experienced triple digit year-over-year growth in annual revenue since launching in 2010, and they are now the #1 most adopted website optimization platform with over 7,000 customers.

Congrats, Optimizely! 

Read more on the Optimizely blog

    Startup School is going global

    In the past few years, we've seen more founders from around the world coming to Silicon Valley to start startups. In YC's W14 batch alone, we had founders from 22 different countries, and every year we see an increasing number of international applicants.

    We want to help founders from all over learn about startups, so we're taking Startup School on the road (though we're still only running YC in Mountain View). We'll be hosting Startup School New York on June 18, and Startup School Europe in London on July 26.

    Startup School is a free, one-day event where you'll hear stories and practical advice from founders and investors. They’ll tell you how they got started, what went wrong, what surprised them, and what happened as their companies grew.

    We're starting with New York and London, but in the coming years we hope to head to Asia, South America and Africa. We're hosting our annual Startup School in Mountain View this October as well, but we'll announce those details as we get closer to the date.

    If you'd like to attend Startup School New York or Startup School Europe visit startupschool.org to apply

    The deadline for Startup School New York applications is May 20, and the deadline for Startup School Europe applications is June 20. We hope to see you there.

    Eventjoy (YC W14) makes its ticketing service free for organizers

    Just a couple months after launching, mobile-focused event planning platform Eventjoy has decided to drop the fees from its ticketing service and pursue alternative monetization options instead. Coinciding with the pricing change, Eventjoy has also resigned its website.

    Previously, the startup took a 2 percent cut + $0.99 per ticket for paid events.

    Co-founder Todd Goldberg told TNW that Eventjoy’s goal is to always keep its core experience free while pursuing premium services, like event promotion and commerce, in order to monetize. The company is counting on the possibility that the power of mobile will open up new opportunities for organizers to make additional money.

    LendUp (YC W12) Raises $50 Million To Disrupt Payday Lending

    Congrats, LendUp! 

    Y Combinator-incubated payday loan disruptor LendUp has raised a $50 million credit debt facility from Victory Park Capital. This adds to the $18 million in equity funding LendUp has raised from investors including Google Ventures, Data Collective, QED and others.

    LendUp wants to redefine payday lending and make the loan experience for the millions of unbanked Americans more fair and transparent. Rather than force Americans to turn to predatory lenders and banks, with their high interest rates, LendUp wants to give those looking for a speedy fix to a short-term financial need a way to borrow money without hidden fees, costly rollovers and high interest rates.

    Read the full story on TechCrunch