Dealyze (YC W15) Brings A Starbucks-Like Loyalty Program To Any Business

Dealyze launches out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC:

When it comes to encouraging consumer loyalty, Starbucks’ program involving its mobile app and accompanying rewards card set a high bar for the rest of the industry to follow. Today, a new company called Dealyze is launching a service that aims to offer a similar app experience to any business, but at a lower price point than its competitors in the mobile loyalty space.

While there are today a number of startups running mobile loyalty programs for small businesses, including Belly and FiveStars, for example, what makes Dealyze different from others is that it allows a company to brand its consumer-facing app and tablet with their own logo and color scheme in order to really make it seem like their own. This is done by way of Dealyze’s own theming engine, which allows the company to make custom systems in minutes.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

The Detroit Water Project (YC W15) Connects Donors To Unpaid Water Bills

YC welcomes the Detroit Water Project to the Winter 2015 batch: 

Help can come from anywhere. And people in Detroit need help. In 2014 the City of Detroit was in the middle of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history and the city aggressively started turning off water to delinquent accounts in a desperate attempt to right the city’s finances. More than 33,000 consumers had their water shut off in 2014 alone. The city is still pursuing past due water bills although The Detroit News recently revealed the water department has shifted focus away from residents and will go after businesses first.

The organization behind the Detroit Water Project attempts to throw a life-preserver to those drowning in unpaid water bills by connecting donors to those in need. This allows homeowners to, in a sense, crowdsource their water bill. Donors can either pay the entire unpaid balance, which can be several thousand dollars, or just part of a bill. Since its launch, the company has expanded to Baltimore with the Baltimore Water Project.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

YC Stats - Winter 2015

Here is what YC looks like in Winter 2015
Number of startups in the W15 batch: 114

Number of companies funded by YC overall: 842

Total market cap of all YC companies: Over $30B

Total money raised by YC companies: Over $3B

Number of YC companies worth more than $1B: 4

Number of YC companies worth more than $100 million: 32 [1]

Countries represented in the W15 batch
Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, India, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand , Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA [2]

W15 Demographics
Companies with a female founder: 25 (21.93%)

Companies with a Black founder: 9 (7.89%)

Companies with a Hispanic founder: 6 (5.26%)

Founder Age:
> Average: 30.27
> Median: 29
> Oldest: 66
> Youngest: 20

W15 Company Categories
B2B: 20 (17.54%)

Consumer: 20 (17.54%)

Biomedical: 18 (15.78%) 

Marketplace: 14 (12.28%) 

Enterprise: 13 (11.40%) 

Developer Tools: 10 (8.77%) 

Fintech: 9 (7.89%) 

Hardware: 7 (6.14%)

Non-profit: 3 (2.63%) 

Aerospace: 1 (.88%)


[1] Including companies that have been acquired 

[2] This list is based on answers to the application question "Where do you live now?" and not on founder nationality.

Thanks to Sketch Deck for help with the graphic. 

Shift Labs (YC W15) Launches Out Of Y Combinator To Make Medical Devices For Healthcare’s Future

YC welcomes Shift Labs to the YC W15 batch: 

"Shift Labs is a small startup launching this spring out of Y Combinator with a lofty tagline: to be “the Nest of medical devices.” But as ambitious as that goal may sound at first, when you take a closer look at Shift Labs, it doesn’t sound that crazy after all. In fact, it seems almost inevitable.

If you’ve spent any time in a hospital, you’ve likely noticed that a lot of the equipment around looks pretty complicated, with an array of buttons, knobs, screens, inputs and outputs. That’s largely because medical device manufacturers have historically built their products by focusing on form way before function. If usability and design are even considered, it’s an afterthought at best.

Of course, some degree of complexity in medical devices is understandable. These aren’t iPods we’re talking about, after all. But the founders at Shift Labs say there’s often an ulterior issue at play as well: profits."

Industrial Microbes (YC W15) Is Engineering Bacteria To Produce Chemicals From Natural Gases

Industrial Microbes joins the YC Winter 2015 batch: 

The trio of synthetic biologists behind Industrial Microbes, a new East Bay-based startup backed by Y Combinator, have had years of experience in working with biofuels.

They met at LS9, a biofuels startup that took more than $80 million of venture investment through the height of the cleantech wave and sought to create fuels from specially engineered bacteria. From a venture perspective, LS9 was a wash in the end and sold for up to $61.5 million last year.

But Derek GreenfieldElizabeth Clarke and Noah Helman, who met at LS9 and have PhDs from Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCSF, are trying a new tack with their own company. Industrial Microbes is designing microorganisms that will convert natural gas into industrial chemicals.

Pakible (YC W15) Makes It Dead Simple For Businesses To Design, Ship Packaging

YC welcomes Pakible to the Winter 2015 batch. Read more about them on TechCrunch

"With e-commerce startups breaking into eyewear, beauty, shaving, monthly subscriptions products and more, there will be plenty of need for boxes and packaging.

That’s where Pakible, a Y Combinator-backed startup, is hoping to come in.

Founded by Nick Carson and Phillip Akhzar, who used to work for iPhone and iPad repair startup iCracked, the company makes it simple for any business to prototype and then ship product packaging."


Bankjoy (YC W15) Is Building A Modern-Day Mobile Banking App For Use By Credit Unions And Smaller Banks

Bankjoy is launching out of the Winter 2015 batch of Y Combinator: 

"Thanks to startups like Simple, which was acquired by financial services organization BBVA last year, banking customers got a look at what a modern-day web and mobile banking experience looks like, with features like goal-setting tools, automated categorization of expenditures, real-time notifications of new charges pushed to your mobile phone, the ability to block a lost or stolen card right from the mobile app, and more. Now, a new startup called Bankjoy wants to bring a similar experience to other, smaller banks with a white-labelled product and accompanying API platform that’s initially being aimed at credit unions.

The Y Combinator-backed startup was founded by Michael Duncan, who worked for years at a credit union himself, first as a programmer, then later promoted to manage the company’s online and mobile banking services."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

InsiteVR (YC W15) Makes It Easy To Bring 3D Models Into Your Virtual World

InsiteVR is launching out of the the W15 batch of Y Combinator. InsiteVR is a simple way for designers and architects to explore and present their 3D designs in virtual reality.  

Read more about them on TechCrunch:

"'The idea was initially inspired by a newly erected building on Columbia’s campus that obstructed the campus observatory’s view of the stars. We were both frustrated by the fact that nobody was able to visualize this ahead of time and let this major oversight slip through the cracks,' said founder Angel Say. The team created something called Vrban which they hoped would allow users to “explore urban environments using the Oculus Rift.” The goal was to allow architects to see what their buildings would look like before they went up.

The company has six contracts in place with architecture firms and branding agencies and even an event production company. The new company allows you to view 3D models inside of a VR experience."

ReadMe (YC W15) Creates Crisp Documentation For Developers Using Your APIs

ReadMe.io launches out of the W15 batch of Y Combinator:  

"With the prevalence of APIs, it’s easier than ever to integrate features from your favorite apps and services into your own work. If you’re one of those companies looking to get your APIs in the hands of third-party developers, however, it means that you’ve got more competition for mindshare.

How do you get developers to integrate your maps or restaurant review database instead of someone else’s? The obvious answer is building out a stronger showing of features — who wouldn’t go with the most powerful option?

But as Stripe’s rapid growth has shown, even in a market where the feature base is relatively stable, making it easier to deploy your technology can go a very long way. Stripe’s documentation makes it easy to use their APIs for handling payments whether you’re a lone blogger who wants to try a subscription model for their site or a startup scaling up to millions in sales.

Y Combinator-backed ReadMe wants to make it easy for any company to provide quality documentation for developers who might be interested in using their APIs."

SparkGift (YC W15) Wants You to Give Kids the Gift of Investing

YC welcomes SparkGift to the W15 batch: 

"'I hate gift giving,' Peggy Mangot, founder of a startup called Spark Gift that launched on Friday, told me the other day. I knew Mangot a little bit from her time as an executive on the Google Wallet team, so when she said this, I told her it sounded a lot meaner than the Peggy I know.

'It’s just that I’ve been a DIY investor and saver since I was very young. Saving and investing is important to me. That’s why gift-giving is especially hard,' she said. 'Our culture is very much focused on commerce so every gift you see out there is commerce. Giving a savings instrument like an investment is not something that many people do.'

But people did at one time. I remember receiving gifts of savings bonds as a child but, over time, that kind of gift has largely gone out of style as interest rates have dropped and the process to buy them has remained cumbersome.

Enter Spark Gift. Mangot, the CEO, along with co-founders Tia Gao and Bob Haigler, have created a service that lets people give the gift of stocks or exchange-traded funds via email in denominations as low as $20. The goal is to make it easy to give the gift of an investment to young people."

Read the full story on Re/code