E la Carte (YC S10) launches restaurant tablets in 113 airports nationwide

Technology succeeds when it makes the everyday more magical, more efficient, just…more. E la Carte provides exactly that experience with its customized Presto tablets for restaurants.

The Y Combinator alumni company has been disrupting the everyday restaurant experience for just over a year by delivering menus, wine lists, nutritional info, instant ordering, play-while-you-wait games, and payment options tableside via touchscreen tablet.

Today, the company announced its biggest partnership to date. E la Carte has partnered with HMSHost, owner and operator of restaurants in 113 airports nationwide, including the 20 busiest airports in North America. Together, the companies plan to make in airport dining faster, more enjoyable, and less stressful. Evidence of this impact can be seen in E la Carte’s existing restaurant partnerships where tips increase by an average of 15% and sales by 10% with the introduction of the Presto.

Read the full article on Pando Daily

Kytephone (YC W12) launches Version 2.0: Adds SMS texting and new homescreen

We launched Kytephone four months ago with a simple vision: be the first smartphone every child gets. Despite kids growing up playing with touchscreen devices and getting phones at an increasingly younger age, parents are still rightfully hesitant to give a full smartphone to their kids. With Kytephone, we were able to offer kids a simple, child-friendly UI that ran all their favourite games, while parents got the call and app controls they needed to feel comfortable.

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We're very proud of our latest release, so check it out on Google Play. We'd love to hear your feedback.

Instacart (YC S12) brings one-hour delivery of groceries to SF, PA, MV, aims to be Amazon for one-hour delivery

Founded in early June, Instacart is the brainchild of Apoorva Mehta, an ex-Amazon Supply Chain engineer, who is leveraging his experience building Amazon’s own complex backend logistical system in the hopes of creating a more efficient back and front-end grocery delivery experience at Instacart.

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While Instacart eventually wants to be Amazon.com with one-hour delivery for anything and everything, the startup is currently focusing on groceries. This means that users can tap-to-order from tens of thousands of items, ranging from produce and booze to deli food, snacks and toiletries. Inventory is sourced from local grocery stores, and Mehta has put together a fleet of trained delivery personnel, who are paid by the hour to pick up the items from local stores and deliver them directly to you — at your home or office.

The service is currently live in San Francisco, Mountain View and Palo Alto and is available between 10am and 9pm. As for the pricing? Users pay a competitive amount for items as they would were they to buy at their local grocery store, plus $9.99 for one-hour delivery and $3.99 for three-hour delivery. 

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Sign up for Instacart (Available for iOS) here.

Zapier (YC S12) launches 3rd party developer platform - Now any app can zap data to 60+ services

Zapier, the Y Combinator-backed service that allows you to automate common tasks on the web and sync data between web apps, just announced the launch of its third-party developer platform. With Zapier, even non-technical users can easily create connections between the more than 60 apps the service currently supports. This means, for example, that you can push a notice to your Basecamp account whenever you sell a ticket on Eventbrite or get an SMS alert every time somebody signs up for your Campaign Monitor or AWeber email marketing campaigns.

With its new development platform, the Mountain View-based company says, developers will be able to easily add their own apps to the service instead of having to wait for the Zapier team itself to support them. Zapier currently supports over 60 services, including popular tools like Asana, Dropbox, Campfire, MailChimp, Salesforce, Stripe, Shopify and Zendesk. Developers will be able to hook into all of these apps, as well as any new ones Zapier itself adds in the future. This, says Zapier co-founder Wade Foster, will save “app developers weeks to months in developer time building integrations and lets an app developer spend more time focusing on their own apps.”

Read the full article on Techcrunch

WePay (YC S09) has a secret weapon: Better fraud detection = merchants get money faster

Wade Roush reports:

[WePay] has realized that its secret weapon—the thing it can do better than PayPal or any other online payment provider—is its ability to sign up new merchants quickly, without lots of paperwork or time-consuming background checks.

In fact, its onboarding process is so fast that other Web businesses that need to help their users process money—such as Fundable, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding site for startups—are signing up by the dozens to use WePay as their payment infrastructure.

According to Clerico and Aberman, the startup is able to offer these quick sign-ups because it has figured out a fast and reliable way to evaluate whether new customers pose a fraud risk. Rather than running slow and expensive credit checks and other inquiries, it simply looks at applicants’ social networking profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites. Says Aberman: “The benefit of digging into Facebook and Twitter is that when a new user signs up, they don’t have any transaction history on WePay. But they do have a history on other networks. We can see goodness or guilt by association.”

That means WePay can make a quick decision about whether a new applicant might be a fraudster. Assuming they’re not, it can enable them to receive money as soon as the day after they sign up.

Read the full article on Xconomy

HelloFax (YC W11) launches HelloSign, the easiest way to do e-signatures

The founders at HelloFax needed a simpler way to help customers get their documents signed. And so they developed a digital signature tool. In short time, they realized they had stumbled into a new space. The young YCombinator startup found that digital signing of documents was not just a feature but a market.

Today HelloFax is breaking into the digital signature category with a free service called HelloSign.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Hiptype (YC S12) launches a Google Analytics-style service for e-books

A new startup called Hiptype wants to bring the bring all the analytics data that have become standard on the Web to the world of e-books.

Hiptype’s co-founders, James Levy (CEO) and Sohail Prasad (CTO), describe the product as “Google Analytics for e-books.” They say they were collaborating on an e-book of their own about big data, and they were surprised to find that the information available via the big e-book stores is limited to download numbers/sales, user ratings, and reviews. There are other products trying to provide more detailed analytics, but they require publishers to go through a specific store.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Amicus (YC S12) helps nonprofits reach volunteers through software, boosts participation by 50%

The process of recruiting volunteers is a pain felt by the entire American electorate: citizens are quick to hang up on complete strangers begging for their time and campaign organizations, as a result, are perpetually short staffed. Amicus, a Y-Combinator nonprofit volunteer-recruitment platform, may have found a clever way to ensure that citizens are only contacted by trusted friends. Amicus scours public and private databases and matches names up with their volunteers’ facebook friends, assigning volunteer outreach only to those who have a personal bond between the caller. “Amicus’ friend-to-friend connections enhance our traditional outreach program and make it easier to mobilize our supporters online,” said Jared Schwartz, Director of Digital strategies, AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the US.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

NewsBlur (YC S12) takes feed reading back to the basics

Every few months or so, somebody will declare the death of RSS, and with it the death of old-school feed readers like Google Reader. Don’t tell that to Samuel Clay, though, the founder of NewsBlur, a web-based feed reader that’s in Y Combinator’s current batch of startups. NewsBlur has many interesting features besides the pure feed reading experience, but at first glance, the web app feels like a throwback to the heady early days of feed readers a few years ago. In addition to the basic feed-reading experience, however, the service also lets you curate your favorite stories on Tumblr-like “Blur Blogs,” which bring a strong social aspect to the service.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

PayDragon (YC S11) raises $1.35M so hungry people can skip lines

Y Combinator alumni and line-hating mobile purchasing startup PayDragon is announcing a $1.35 million seed financing today. The round included Rustic Canyon Ventures, Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Mark Schwartz, and a follow-on investment by Y Combinator.

PayDragon is based on the premise that waiting in line to purchase items is neither good for the customer or the merchant. Rather, the startup allows merchants to offer one-click mobile ordering (including payment) and send push notifications when the item is ready for pickup. Users skip to the front of the line, receive their item, and get on with their lives. The premise is being applied solely within the restaurant space, but future options are limitless.