Online Shopping Companion Zinc (YC W14) Automatically Finds Discounts For Puchases From Top Retailers

Online shoppers now have a new tool to help them save money at checkout, without having to do much work at all. Recently launched shopping companion Zinc helps you automatically find the best price for the items in your shopping cart, and then pay however you want, including via Bitcoin or Dwolla.

The service, which works as either a Google Chrome extension or browser bookmarklet, is currently supported on major retailer’s sites, including Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, and Target.

The Y Combinator-backed startup, founded by three friends from MIT, Max Kolysh, Doug Feigelson and John Wang, emerged from an earlier idea they had about building an API for buying things online. “A lot of online retailers have APIs for data retrieval, but they don’t have APIs for actually making the purchase. We thought it would be cool to create that for them, as a third-party,” explains Kolysh.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Hipmunk Anywhere launches—easily search from desktop, book on mobile instantly, which 60% of people do already

Hipmunk Anywhere Brings All Your Searches to All Your Devices (skift.com):

Travel companies are well aware of what’s been happening with travelers’ search and booking behavior — they search on one device, get back to looking around later for a flight or hotel multiple times on myriad devices and operating systems depending on convenience or whim, and ultimately end up booking the trip most often on a tablet or desktop.

Consumers usually have to restart their searches when switching devices, but now Hipmunk and, to a lesser extent, Expedia, are doing something about the search inefficiencies of cross-platform habits.

Flight and hotel metasearcher Hipmunk has launched Hipmunk Anywhere, which enables users who are signed into its desktop or mobile apps to find their recent searches on each device regardless if they initiated them on the desktop or mobile Web, Android or iOS apps, or tablets.

...

Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein says co-founder and CTO Steve Huffman took the lead on Hipmunk Anywhere, which was “a lot of work,” but built in a couple of months. There’s all kind of layers to the feature, Goldstein says, including logic about the user’s location, and of course the previous searches won’t be visible if the dates of the prospective flight or hotel stay have already passed.

“It’s a pretty significant shift and no one else in the industry has really been paying attention to the way that people are actually using these different devices,” says Goldstein, adding that comScore found that 60% of consumers launch searches on one device and then finish them on another.

Twitch.tv in Time Magazine: "Quickly becoming one of the hottest entertainment properties on the web."

This Is The Hottest Online Video Service You've Never Heard Of (time.com):

How many gamers does it take to catch a Pokemon? 1.1 million, apparently. That’s how many people played the Game Boy classic Pokemon Red—together—on the video game streaming website Twitch.tv in February. As the game streamed online, people used a chat client to submit 122 million button inputs, often simultaneously, to control the movements of the main character as he pursued his quest of becoming a Pokemon master. It was an impractical but oddly hypnotic way to try to beat a video game. After two and a half weeks of wildly scrolling through menus, running in erratic circles, and occasionally defeating enemies, the gamers collectively toppled the Elite Four and saw the end credits roll. But the true victor of the endeavor was Twitch.tv itself, which is quickly becoming one of the hottest entertainment properties on the Web.

Joe Ariel of Goldbely (YC W13) interviewed in Forbes — democratizing the food industry

Joe Ariel is a New York City transplant who opened up shop in San Francisco with his startup Goldbely. The idea is simple: a food delivery service.

That's not new, of course. But the company distinguishes itself by finding locally sourced gourmet foods from around the country and delivering them to a person's doorstep. And not just so-called gourmet food, either: Think cannolis from Carlo's Bake Shop -- of "Cake Boss" fame -- in New Jersey, sourdough bread from Boudin in the Bay Area, Blue Bell ice cream from Texas, or a pastrami and corned beef sandwich from Katz's Delicatessen in New York City.

Ariel, 37, wants to help local purveyors gain a national audience. He calls it "democratizing the food industry." And lest you think he is just one more in a long line of trendy food entrepreneurs, Ariel insists that he dislikes the pretension of the word "foodie" (preferring to call himself a "food explorer") and simply wants to share the best that America has to offer.

Ariel is a serial entrepreneur -- he was once the CEO of Delivery.com and Eats.com -- and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Vanderbilt University. He spoke with us.

Read all 10 questions at Forbes

SketchDeck (YC W14) Turns Terrible Slide Decks Into Beautiful Presentations In Just A Day

A number of startups over the years have tried to reinvent PowerPoint with services that made it easier or quicker to create a slideshow presentation. Newly launched SketchDeck is taking a different approach: Instead of providing an alternative to PowerPoint or similar software applications, it’s offering a service that enables individuals or businesses to have their slides made beautiful by a team of designers who can turn around assignments within 24 hours.

Explains SketchDeck co-founder and CEO Chris Finneral, this kind of service actually already exists, but only within larger organizations, like banks or consultancies. He would know, as Finneral himself used to work as a business analyst at McKinsey in London where he made thousands of slideshows himself.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Grouper (YC W12) launches its social club in the UK — now available in London

From Tab.co.uk

Feeling spontaneous? Pick two of your mates and get on Grouper, a new “social club” that matches you and two of your wingmen or wingwomen with another trio of the opposite sex for a night out on the town.

After launching in New York in the summer of 2011 and expanding into 25 cities across the U.S., Grouper is now in the UK, gaining fans and swift momentum across the different neighbourhoods of London. To date, we have proudly hosted tens of thousands of nights out and hangovers worldwide.

Matterport (YC W12) in the San Jose Mercury News: A New 3D Modeling System

Matterport in the San Jose Mercury News:

The next time you move, you may be able to give friends and family members a virtual tour of your new house, thanks to new technology from a Silicon Valley startup.

Mountain View-based Matterport on Thursday is set to begin offering for sale a camera and a service that can create 3-D models of interior spaces or outdoor scenes.

At $4,500, the camera is not priced for consumers. But Matterport hopes it will appeal to professional photographers, real estate companies and other businesses that could use it on websites targeted at consumers. In the near future, when smartphones have 3-D cameras built into them, consumers might be able to upload their pictures to Matterport's service directly.

"It will be like taking a movie," said Bill Brown, Matterport's CEO. "You can capture a place and explore it later."

Sendhub (YC W12) launches iOS 7 app, with improved call notifications and Groups

From the SendHub blog

Today we’re excited to announce the newly re-designed SendHub app for iOS 7.  It’s available for iPhone and iPod Touch, it’s free, and you can download it here.  At SendHub, we strive to make business communications fast and simple. Our latest iOS 7 update brings simplifications to our user interface, making it even easier to communicate with your customers and coworkers.

What’s New

    • A fresh, brand new iOS 7 style design
    • Easier to use, more accessible Groups
    • Improved call notifications, so you never miss an important call
    • A unified Contacts list which lists your Favorites at the top
    • Improvements in speed and reliability

We’re excited to share the new app update with our thousands of customers who have come to trust SendHub for their telephony. We hope you enjoy the new iOS 7 app!

Female Founders Conference videos are now online

Videos from YC's first Female Founders Conference are now up on our YouTube page.

Apologies for the delay in pushing the talks live. We hope you'll take away some great lessons from the speakers. 

Jessica Livingston - Founder, Y Combinator

Adora Cheung - Founder, Homejoy

Julia Hartz - Founder, Eventbrite

Elli Sharef - Founder, HireArt

Kathryn Minshew - Founder, The Muse

Dr. Elizabeth Iorns - Founder, Science Exchange

Fundraising Panel 

Jessica Mah - Founder, inDinero
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YC-Backed Orankl (YC W14) Gives Small Vendors The Same Tools As Amazon

Customer reviews are the backbone of sites like Amazon (where they have turned into a platform for some of the most inspired comedic writing on the Internet), but it can be difficult for smaller retailers to convince shoppers to leave feedback. Orankl, a Y Combinator-backed startup, wants to give all e-commerce businesses the same tools as their larger rivals.

The company’s first product is a review system that can be installed with one click on supported platforms like Shopify or by copying-and-pasting a few lines of code. Feedback forms automatically match the style of each site and the system generates emails that remind customers to leave a review. The startup says some of the sites that have already installed its review system have increased sales by 15% to 20%.