DoorDash (YC S13) delivers from favs like Oren's Hummus, Sprout for $6 in 45 mins—now serving PA, MV, Los Altos

DoorDash, a Y Combinator summer ‘13 company, delivers food from restaurants in Palo Alto and Mountain View in an average time of 45 minutes.

Sound familiar?

It’s a crowded space, but while competitors like Seamless and Grubhub offer users an app to order food from any restaurant that has its own drivers and delivery system setup, DoorDash hires and manages its own drivers, so it can bring you food from restaurants that don’t have their own delivery drivers.

That may not seem like a big difference, but for the suburbs and college campuses, it’s a welcome change from having just pizza and Chinese food places offering delivery.

DoorDash charges $6 per delivery with no minimum order size, and currently delivers lunch (11:45 am-1:30 pm) and dinner (5:30pm – 9:00pm) every day. The company currently delivers to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View from 50 restaurants in the area.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

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Prim (YC S13) launches the Uber for Laundry—Painless pickup, wash, fold, now available in SF, MV, Palo Alto

You can call it a first-world problem. Or you can say it distracts people from their passions and contributions to the world. Either way, laundry is a chore, and new Y Combinator startup Prim wants to do it for you. You can schedule Prim online to come to your place, pick up your laundry, have it washed and folded at a top-notch laundromat, and deliver it back to you. $25 for a bag. It’s that easy.

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Currently Prim operates in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park — home to the world’s busiest techies. You go online and select from their upcoming 9am-11am or 8pm-10pm pickup and drop-off windows. You throw your clothes in a garbage bag and wait for Prim’s text that it’ll be there in 15 minutes. The driver calls when they arrive. You can hand them the bag, leave it with your doorman, or if you’re comfortable, give them a copy of your key or send a photo of it and they’ll make a copy so they can just come into your place and grab the bag.

Their driver takes the sack of clothes to be tagged and brings it to a well-rated local laundromat with a track record of flawless jobs. Within two days you get notified to confirm your delivery, and Prim brings the washed and folded clothes back in high-quality nylon satchels. It even ties together your stacks of shirts or whatever you wouldn’t want wrinkled so they stay prim and proper. See! That’s where they got the name! You got that already? Sorry.

The cost is $25 for the first bag of each pickup and $15 for the additional ones. That’s a bit more expensive than you can expect from a laundromat’s wash and fold, but you get the pick-up and delivery included. Because Prim brings in so much business, it gets discounts from the laundromats so the price stays reasonable. Prim strives for perfection, but in case anything gets lost or damaged, Wu says Prim has insurance and will refund you 100% of the cost of your clothes. “If there’s any mistake, we try to bend over backwards for our customers” says Wu.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

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Pulitzer prize-winning author Junot Díaz uses Rap Genius (YC S11) to creatively annotate his works

Pulitzer prize-winning author Junot Díaz has laid bare the inspirations behind parts of his celebrated 2008 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in a series of annotations to the text posted on a social media site that lets rap, rock and poetry fans share their passions.

The site, Rapgenius.com, taps into fans' enduring thirst for knowledge about the inspirations of their creative heroes, and enables users to post song lyrics, poems or passages of prose and to "collaboratively annotate" them.

Díaz's prize-winning novel follows the life of Oscar de León, a boy growing up as a Dominican immigrant in New Jersey who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels, and is also falling in love. Diaz took to Rapgenius.com to share the backstory to one of the book's footnotes, which relates to "Outer Azuo", the remote reaches of the Dominican Republic's Azua province, and Oscar's perceptions of it.

Read the full article at The Guardian
Hat tip Alexis Ohanian

Machine Zone (YC W08) debuts Game of War iOS MMO game, supports hundreds of thousands of players simultaneously

While iOS games started out as either simple physics or casual simulation titles when the platform launched about five years ago, the bar has gotten steadily higher and more hard-core. Midcore studios like Kabam started to rise in prominence.

Now the iOS platform might be seeing is most hardcore title to date — a very, very massive multi-player title from YC- and Menlo Ventures-backed Machine Zone.

The company, which started out doing text-based RPGs a couple years ago like iMob, is launching Game of War: Fire Age. It’s a title where players build and grow empires, train massive armies, forge alliances with other players to win kingdoms.

The game can handle hundreds of thousands of players concurrently in the same universe, which is not an easy technical feat. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, in contrast, typically handles a few thousand players simultaneously in a single realm. All movement on the game’s map is visible to everyone else.

“We wanted to take the company to the next level and be really ambitious,” said Machine Zone CEO Gabriel Leydon. “We decided to build some things that had never been done before. We had the capital to do it and the willpower.”

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Lob (YC S13) launches a cloud printing and shipping service for developers

Want to build your own Postagram? You could with Lob, a new developer API for integrating printing and shipping services into applications that’s officially opening its doors today. The company makes it possible for a business to implement a programmatic means of printing, packaging, and shipping items on demand, including things like business cards, photos, posters, letters, postcards, checks, stickers, and more. During its brief testing period, Lob saw sign-ups from customers like CrowdTilt, ZenPayroll, LendUp, and others.

Founded just a couple of months ago by University of Michigan grads Harry Zhang and Leore Avidar, Lob is participating in Y Combinator’s summer 2013 program. Today, it already has hundreds of customers and is generating revenue, the founders say.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Try Lob now for your printing needs

How Asana does marketing analytics: Google Analytics + Optimizely (YC W10) + Swiftype (YC W12)

Analytics: Google Analytics + Optimizely + Swiftype

Effective marketing is data-driven, and the best tools help teams not just capture data, but drive insights and action.  We use Google Analytics extensively, and we have customized it to help us segment visitors, capture events, and measure the success of campaigns. When we want to A/B test different content and messages, we use Optimizely, which is one of the best tools we’ve found for driving actionable insights (and is insanely simple to use, even for marketers not comfortable with code).

Our support and learning site, the Asana Guide, features site search by a company called Swiftype. Somewhat unintentionally, we’ve found Swiftype to be a goldmine of analytics data – seeing what people are searching for, finding, and not finding.  We share these reports with the product team to illuminate user confusion and pain points, and we use the data to add support content and make product changes.  Additionally, Swiftype lets us adjust search rankings, so we can point the most popular searches to the most relevant content.

Read the full article at the Asana blog

Watsi (YC W13) raises a $1.2M philanthropic seed round from PG, Tencent, YC, Conway, Khosla, Draper Richards Kaplan

We dropped everything for Watsi. We quit our jobs, moved across the country, and worked hundred-hour weeks to prove that by connecting people, we could change the future of healthcare.

Three months ago, we had the opportunity to pitch Watsi to the titans of Silicon Valley at Y Combinator’s Demo Day. Today, we’re excited to announce that 13 of the world’s most innovative philanthropists have contributed $1.2 million to fund Watsi’s operations.

Read the full announcement at the Watsi Blog

PaaS pioneer DotCloud (YC S10) brings on new industry vet Ben Golub as CEO

DotCloud, which was a multi-language PaaS before multi-language PaaSes became all the rage, has a new CEO in Ben Golub. He was formerly president and CEO of Gluster and before that of Plaxo, where he replaced Sean Parker. Gluster, a provider of scale-out storage, sold to Red Hat for $136 million two years ago.

Golub’s big ambitions for PaaS go beyond multiple language support, according to his blog post announcing the move. Developers also want to use multiple stacks, he wrote, and to deploy apps on any hardware.

He continued:

“Operators both inside and outside of the enterprise want to be able to run applications seamlessly. Almost every enterprise wants its own PaaS-like environment. In other words, the industry seems to want not just a multi-language PaaS, but a limitless-language, multi-environment, and multi-enterprise PaaS.”

San Francisco-based dotCloud is the commercial force behind the open-source Docker.io community, which aims to build portable containers out of applications. The goal is to provide an application built on a laptop that can then run in large-scale implementations, on virtual machines, OpenStack clusters, and public clouds, according to the Docker.io web site.

GetGoing (YC S12) launches hotel search booking and lots of experience improvements

Coming out of beta four months ago, San Francisco start-up GetGoing has elicited buzz because of its unique opaque booking product for vacation packages: “pick two, get one.”

Today the San Francisco company adds traditional hotel booking to its menu of options — with an inventory of 140,000 hotels in 150 countries from Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN). It will mimick Hotels.com’s highly successful book-10-hotels-get-a-tenth-stay-free loyalty rewards concept.

The start-up, which has 35 full-time employees, is a graduate of the Y Combinator accelerator program and has received about $5 million in funding. In April it added ordinary flight booking.

We spoke with CEO Alek Vernitsky about the changes: "We integrated the historical weather for your dates of travel, to spare users from having to click over to Weather.com. The forecast is right there at the top of the search results. We have smarter Facebook relevance. We provide two metrics: How many of your Facebook friends live there and how many of your Facebook friends have been there. While some other sites tell you if your friends have been to a place, travelers often want to know whom they might be able to visit while they’re in town."
Read the full article on tnooz.com

Loom (YC W12) launches cloud photo sync done right: Don't fill your HD, store and view it all at any time on all devices

Loom, the new cloud storage and syncing service emerging from the ashes of Y Combinator-backed Popset, is today opening its doors and heading into beta. Though the company’s long-term vision for Loom is to offer users and developers a better alternative to Apple’s iCloud, the app that’s launching now on Mac and the iTunes App Store is only the first step. It allows users to sync their photos to Loom’s cloud storage, so they can delete the hundreds or thousands eating up space on their iPhone or iPad’s Camera Roll or computer hard drive.

When Loom first announced its plans in May, co-founder Jan Senderek had explained that the team had realized they were trying to solve the wrong problemwith Popset. People weren’t struggling to share photos with groups, they were in search of better tools to organize and manage their photo libraries. Chief among users’ complaints were their sometimes overwrought routines for backing up their phone’s photos: syncing to their computers or external hard drives, syncing through iTunes, and then losing too much room to store photos on their smaller MacBook SSD drives, for example.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

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