Upverter (YC W11) raises $2.3M for cloud-based engineering tool

Toronto-based startup Upverter, a GitHub-like platform for hardware engineers, or an online design automation platform, has raised $2.3 million from Version One Ventures, Tom McInerney, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, Amol Sarva (Peek proto-smartphone device), David Lerner and Golden Venture Partners.

The company will use the money for growth as it pursues the status of a profitable business.

Originally it was a cloud-based engineering tool for these hardware designers, but the company “evolved considerably”, wrote Techcrunch’s Darryl Etherington, and began earning revenue from from enterprise clients seeking access to its cloud-based tools.

“Over the summer, we really started to double down on what needed to exist to take the Upverter platform from this hobbyist hacker with open source tool, to this real-deal professional design suite to compete with the big boys, or to become complementary to them,” CEO Zak Homuth told Etherington.

Read the full article at Betakit

StackLead (YC W14) Takes The Hassle Out Of Lead Analysis

"Imagine you have a huge sign-up list for your yet-to-launch startups or you are a quickly growing company with 50 new sales leads coming in every day. Who are those people signing up for your product? How do you research those leads? In most cases, you have to spend at least a few minutes per sender figuring out who they are and what companies they work for. StackLead, a Y Combinator-backed company that is launching today, wants to take the hassle out of this by automating the customer research process.

The company was founded by MIT engineers Gordon Wintrob and Ted Tomlinson, who hit upon this idea when they were working on another startup. They found themselves spending a lot of time on researching leads and realized that this was likely a pain point for others, as well." 

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Style Lend (YC W14) Launches Out Of Y Combinator To Be The Airbnb For Women’s Closets

"Collaborative consumption marketplaces have taken off in recent years to let people share many of the big ticket items in their lives: houses, apartments, cars. A new startup called Style Lend is gunning to be the go-to site for sharing the big ticket items that are sitting in women’s closets.

Essentially an Airbnb for high-end dresses and accessories, Style Lend is a peer-to-peer marketplace where women can list and rent items for a fraction of their original retail cost. Most women can relate to having at least a couple items in their closets that cost a lot of money, but get very little wear: That one special occasion dress, or designer handbag. These kinds of items stick around because they aren’t quite candidates for consignment. She loves them and wants to keep them, but the truth is that they stay in the closet 95% of the time."

One Degree (YC W14) Is A “Yelp For Social Services” That Helps Low-Income Families

"When Rey Faustino migrated from the Philippines to Southern California as an eight-year-old, he saw his family hustle to make ends meets in their new homeland. “I grew up in a working-class family and I watched my family struggle for resources,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that other kids and families didn’t have to go through the same ordeal.”

So while completing a graduate degree at Harvard in public policy, he put together a business plan for One Degree, a new non-profit that helps people find social services like affordable housing and job training. As a child, Faustino remembers that individual social workers had all of this information in their heads about the best programs to route families and low-income workers to.

But there wasn’t a scalable, single destination where anybody could go to find whatever they needed, whether it was low-cost medical care or free after-school programs. He and Eric Lukoff created One Degree, a highly-curated search engine for social services. The site gives personalized recommendations and steps for people to take." 

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Where’s The Party? Shoobs (YC W14) Wants To Be Ticketmaster For Local Nightlife Events

"Shoobs means party. It’s also a U.K. startup aiming to become Ticketmaster for local nightlife events. Wondering which hot DJs are coming to your corner of town soon? Shoobs wants to be the place you go to figure out where to direct your next set of dancefloor moves — and book tickets for the party.

But that’s only the half of this startup business. For nightlife events’ organisers, Shoobs provides a self-service platform to promote upcoming events, sell tickets and connect with clubgoers.

It’s aiming to replace old school promotional tactics of flyers pressed into the sweaty palms of dancers filing out of the club after a six-hour toe-shaking session. And paper tickets that have to be tracked down by ringing a promoter’s mobile number and meeting them on a street corner. Old school is the word."

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Camperoo (YC W14) Helps Parents Find And Book Summer Camps & Other Activities For Kids

"Parents looking to plan their children’s extracurricular activities, find summer camps or day programs are these days faced with a fairly time-consuming task, and one which involves more than a bit of internet research, and even phoning around town. That’s because there’s no centralized resource for discovery these sorts of programs. A startup called Camperoo wants to change that by aggregating things like summer camps, karate camps, science and technology camps, cooking classes and more, all under one roof.

The company was launched last spring by Emmie Chang, who, though not a parent herself, had first-hand experience in the space, having previously started and run a technology camp for kids. (That program continues today, though Chang stepped down from her day-to-day involvement there several years ago.)"

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Beacon (YC W14) Featured in the NYTimes: A Website Asks Readers to Finance Independent Journalists

"With news publications increasingly charging for their once-free websites and apps, they face a critical question: Will readers pay for digital content? Now, one Internet start-up has put a twist on that question: Will readers pay for a journalist?

The start-up, called Beacon, kicked off a campaign on Wednesday to support Shane Bauer, a hiker and journalist who was imprisoned in Iran for 26 months. If all goes as planned, readers will fund Mr. Bauer’s entire $75,000 salary for a year to report on the American prison system." 


CodeCombat (YC W14) Wants You To Learn To Code By Playing Games

"So you’ve decided you want to learn to code, but don’t know where to start. There are dozens of services out there that can help you find your way, but a new YC-backed company wants to teach you how to code through gamification.

The web-based game teaches rudimentary JavaScript fundamentals, including everything you’d learn in an introductory computer science course, by forcing you to code your way through the game. In order to get from one level to the next, you must understand the lesson being taught and prove it through writing your own code." 

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Two New YC Partners: Justin Kan and Aaron Harris

I'm delighted to announce that Justin Kan and Aaron Harris are joining Y Combinator as Partners.

Justin was in the very first YC batch with me in the summer of 2005, and has been a part-time partner since 2011. Justin founded Kiko, Justin.tv/Twitch.tv, Socialcam, and Exec. He took the "do what it takes" directive of startups unusually far with Justin.tv, when he wore a webcam on his head and broadcast his entire life for 8 months, 24 hours a day.

For some time now, Justin has been who we send startups to with questions about growth and marketing. But he knows a ton about nearly every part of startups.

Aaron was in the YC Winter 2011 batch doing Tutorspree, which moved back to New York after their batch. He’s actually been a partner since October 2013—sometimes it takes us a while to get around to announcing things.

Aaron will also advise startups on all topics, but he’s especially good with anything related to finance.

We're all very happy to have both of them on the team.

Threadable’s (YC W14) Mailing List For Teams Makes Your Inbox Less Noisy

"One of the problems with mailing lists today, especially when used for work-related purposes or organizing large groups around some sort of project, is that they can quickly become overwhelming. Annoyed, many users then create a filter to archive the mailing list so it stays out of their inbox. Y Combinator-backed Threadable, a newly launched mailing list management solution, wants to offer a better way.

It aims to improve group communication within teams by making emails more actionable. That is, emails sent with Threadable let users quickly mute message threads, turn threads into tasks and claim them, mark tasks as done, and more."

Read the full story on TechCrunch