Estimote (YC S13) featured in Upstart Business Journal: Bringing Bluetooth low-energy tech to the masses

Krzych built a Krakow, Poland ad network called AdTaily that was purchased in 2009 by the largest media group in the nation. His partner and CTO Lukasz Kostka is a computer scientist with expertise in smart cities and big data.

And it wasn’t that they lacked focus for their idea. Estimote is solving a problem that all retailers face. With so many products available online, customers often visit brick-and-mortar stores to see items in person and try them on, but head home to find a better deal or more options online.

Estimote’s network of wireless sensors on products within a store sense a shopper’s location and populate her smartphone screen with the product, its specs, color choices and sizes. There are deals personalized to the shopper and an option to pay for the item in the app and have it shipped home or delivered at the front of the store (for example, in an Ikea store).

The Bluetooth low-energy technology that makes the sensor operate automatically will be built into Apple’s new iOS 7 coming this fall and to mobile operating systems announced by Google and Nokia.

Read the full article in Upstart

Prizeo (YC W13) featured by Forbes as one of 12 companies transforming industries


Prizeo leverages celebrities’ influence to raise awareness and funding for some of the biggest philanthropic causes. Funding is raised by raffling once in a lifetime prizes offered by celebrities. Prizes include a shopping spree with Khloé Kardashian Odom as well as a chance to meet Muhammad Ali. Prizeo has raised $2.5 million in funding and is democratizing fundraising by brilliantly leveraging celebrity power.

Read the full list on Forbes

Heap (YC W13) Raises $2M For Their “Capture Everything” Analytics Tool

Heap, a company looking to battle the likes of Google and KissMetrics in the analytics space, has raised a seed round of $2M from some of the bigger names in the Valley.

As I’ve written before, Heap’s approach to analytics is somewhat backwards from what many web developers might be used to. Rather than having to be told what data to capture, Heap just captures everyaction a user does on your site. Every click, every page view, every interaction that their Javascript snippet can capture (though they avoid capturing things that would be directly detrimental to a user’s privacy — they don’t record what a user types into a form, for example, just that they typed something.)

The idea there is that if you need to analyze how well something on your site is working, you don’t have to add any new code or set up a test and wait a few days for the data to come in — you already have that data. Want to check if your users are incorrectly clicking an image expecting it to take them somewhere? Just open up Heap and check the historical data for mouse clicks on that image.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Weebly (YC W07) expands to new 36K sq ft SF HQ, will expand to 600 employees

Weebly, the service that lets you, your grandma and anyone else build a website for free, is growing fast. The startup launched out of Y Combinator in 2007 and today hosts over 15 million sites, which together see more than 100 million unique visitors each month. But they also expect this growth to continue, as Weebly co-founder David Rusenko tells us that his company has signed a lease on 36,000-square feet of a historic warehouse in SOMA in downtown San Francisco, which will become its new headquarters.

Not only that, but as the anchor tenant of this new space, the company has the option to expand to 50,000-square-feet, which Rusenko says the company plans to do. As a comparison, Weebly’s new office will be nearly five-times the size of its current space in Pac Heights, which is a puny 11,000-square-feet.

Besides the fact that the warehouse that will play home to their new headquarters is apparently the “last brick-and-timber warehouse in SOMA to be converted to a more modern setup” — and is where many of the grapes would be shipped from Napa to make wine in San Francisco, Rusenko says — the reason for the move is that Weebly plans to hire hundreds of new employees and it’s going to need somewhere to put them.

Weebly plans to move into the new space sometime in early 2014 and over the next couple of years plans to grow to up to 600 employees globally — most of whom will be located in San Francisco, the co-founder tells us. When Weebly moved into their current offices in 2011, the company was just 19 employees, a team which today has grown to 80.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Soundfocus (YC S13) chosen as Gizmodo App of the Day: World's first music player tuned to your hearing

SoundFocus: SoundFocus is “the world’s first music player that tunes to your hearing,” according to its creators, led by SoundFocus CEO Alex Selig, who himself suffers from hearing impairment.First, you test your hearing acuity, roughly speaking, in three zones — lows, mids, and highs. In addition to everything on your phone and in your Apple iTunes Match account (although it can’t apply its EQ to the cloud-stored songs), SoundFocus includes artist radio stations using Spotify’s catalog, if you’re a premium subscriber, programming the artist stations using technology from The Echo Nest (publisher of You also get access to all your Spotify on-demand tracks. SoundFocus can work its EQ magic on Spotify songs, just not on iTunes Match songs, so we recommend turning off iTunes Match in your iOS settings if you’re going to use this app as your main player. [Free]

Kamcord (YC S12) announces 1 billion gameplay videos recorded, raises an additional $1M in seed

Kamcord, the Y Combinator-backed startup offering a free SDK that makes it easy for iOS devs to offer in-game recording functionality to their users, is today announcing an additional $1M in seed funding and some big updates since the last time we checked in. 

We spoke with CEO Matt Zitzmann about some new features coming to the service today and he also filled us in on the progress the company has made since rolling out a new voice overlay feature back in June. Not only has the service reached an impressive 1 billion gameplay videos recorded (up from 500 million in June), Zitzmann also tells us the company is experiencing developers switching from rival in-game recording platforms due to a much higher rate of gameplay videos shared to social networks.  In-game recording in mobile apps could become a big trend in months to come as Sony and Microsoft move to integrate system-wide recording features in their upcoming next-gen gaming consoles.

Crowdtilt (YC W12) launches Crowdhoster, the world's most flexible open source crowd funding platform

Thanks to the JOBS Act and the rise of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the parade of startups that have emerged in their wake, crowdfunding has gone mainstream. However, according to the minds behind Crowdtilt — the Y Combinator-incubated platform that caters to the many types of “group fundraising” that fall outside the purview of Kickstarter — this is just Phase One. The Crowdfunding Era is just beginning.

While the Kickstarters and Indiegogos continue to dominate headlines in the crowdfunding space, a growing set of niche platforms have emerged to handle the spillover from projects that don’t fit under the traditional umbrella. And some are bypassing platforms altogether: Star Citizen, a space-age video game, recently became the most successful crowdfunding campaign yet, raising a whopping $15 million — on its own site.

With projects like Lockitron, Basis and Myo also joining the list of projects that have raised big bucks without the help of traditional platforms, Crowdtilt founder and CEO James Beshara believes this is a strong indication of where crowdfunding is headed. The writing is on the wall.

That’s why Crowdtilt is today launching the first public version of Crowdhoster — its full-featured, open-source, customizable crowdfunding tool that will allow anyone to launch their own campaign without having to touch a line of code. Built using Crowdtilt’s API, Crowdhoster gives both individuals or businesses the ability to set up and own their own crowdfunding page.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

CoreOS (YC S13) in Wired: Linux hackers rebuild Internet from Silicon Valley garage

Alex Polvi is living the great Silicon Valley archetype. Together with some old school friends, he’s piecing together a tech revolution from inside a two-car Palo Alto garage.

He’s like Dave Packard or Steve Jobs or Sergey Brin — at least up to a point. The difference is that, from his vantage point here in the 21st century, Polvi views his garage with a certain sense of irony — “straight-up Palo Alto-style,” he says — and he harbors ambitions that suit our particular time. He wants to change the way we build the entire internet, making this worldwide network of computer servers as easy to update as the browsers on our laptops.

Inside that Palo Alto garage — the door open to the Silicon Valley summer sun, and the camping gear stacked against the wall — Polvi and his colleagues are fashioning a new computer operating system known asCoreOS. This isn’t an OS for running desktop PCs or laptops or tablets. It’s meant to run the hundreds of thousands of servers that underpin the modern internet.

Read the full article at Wired

Buttercoin (YC S13) Uses Bitcoin To Attack The $500B-A-Year Remittances Economy

With Bitcoin’s promise of frictionless transactions, particularly across international borders, it’s inevitable that a team would use the math-based currency to attack the global remittances market.

The World Bank estimates that migrants will send about $515 billion to relatives in developing countries by 2015, which is about 10 times the size of the U.S.’s budget for foreign aid.

The old stand-bys like Western Union can charge around 10 percent for transactions in the market, an amount that Buttercoinco-founders Cedric Dahl and Bennett Hoffman find obscene.

But Bitcoin, which is a pure math-based currency that allows for anonymous and irreversible transactions without the need for a third-party facilitator like a bank, promises transactions at a substantially lower cost.

Buttercoin plans to open in India within the next three months and then to operate in six countries in nine months’ time. Their model is to open a local Bitcoin exchange in each country. When they enter a market, they pair with local money transfer businesses to have legal compliance in the country. But these local partners don’t touch the Bitcoin-to-local currency transactions; they merely get a 50 percent cut ofButtercoin‘s fees in exchange for having the proper licenses and relationships with regulators.

Read the full article on Techcrunch