The New Matterport (YC W12) 3D Camera Could Change Reality As You Know It

"A few weeks ago I slipped on an Oculus Rift headset and visited the future of virtual reality. In a millisecond, I was transported from a drab office park in Mountain View, CA to the middle of a showcase home in Portola Valley, CA  that had been rendered as a life-size model by the Matterport 3D Camera.

It was the closest I’m likely to get to teleportation. The details of my immediate surroundings were completely replaced by the virtual world. Using a keypad, I could move around and explore the home’s nooks and crannies at my leisure."

Meet Coin (YC W13), a startup creating a universal credit card

Summary: Coin isn’t trying to replace the physical wallet with a digital one. Instead it’s trying to reduce all of the credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards that clutter up our wallets to a single piece of plastic.

As the contactless payments technologies from Google Wallet to Isis flounder, critics point to what now seems rather obvious: Silicon Valley is trying to fix a system that simply isn’t broken. Swiping a card through a point-of-sale magnetic stripe reader is easy and it works in millions of locations. In fact, the mobile payments companies that have been most successful, such as Square and PayPal, aren’t necessarily trying to change that basic transaction – they’ve just made it possible to use your plastic in more places.

Kanishk Parashar learned that lesson the hard way. The PayPal veteran developed a smartphone wallet app in 2010 called Smart Market that went nowhere. But now he’s founded a new company called Coin that isn’t messing around with the fundamentals of the basic credit card swipe. Instead it’s building a better credit card.

LendUp (YC W12) raises $14M Series A from Google Ventures, Data Collective

A startup called Flurish Inc., better known as LendUp, has raised $14 million in Series A financing to offer an online alternative to traditional payday loans, according to co-founders Sasha Orloff and Jacob Rosenberg.

Google Ventures led the investment in LendUp, joined by Data Collective and QED Investors. The deal marks one of several in the lending segment of financial services for Google Ventures and Google Inc., which backed OnDeck Capital Inc. and Lending Club Inc., respectively.

LendUp, based in San Francisco with 14 employees, gives short-term, small dollar loans to borrowers online–usually the kinds of borrowers banks won’t help. Instead of relying on FICO scores, LendUp uses publicly available data online–from social networks, for example–to assess which applicants may be a good risk, even if they don’t have any credit history in the U.S. Loan decisions are usually made within minutes, the company says.

Read the full article at WSJ

Weebly (YC W07) launches e-commerce capabilities, lets you sell unlimited products for $29/mo

It’s been said that under half the businesses in the United States don’t have a presence on the web beyond a quick listing by Google. Part of the reason is that website hosting can be expensive and complicated. Website builder Weebly, which says it hosts blogs and websites for 20 million people, wants to tackle the problem by appealing to part-time entrepreneurs who’d like an online store, but can’t afford the real estate. It’s spent the last two years building an e-commerce platform that makes it simple enough to create a free e-commerce site entirely on a smartphone, and in a few minutes.

“One of the things we’ve learned about our users in the last couple of  years is that 60% consider themselves entrepreneurs,” says CEO Dave Rusenko. In response he’s now offering them an eCommerce plan which includes a basic, free version for a site with features like product search, mobile checkout and the ability to sell up to five products. Selling unlimited products will cost $29 a month.

Read the full article on Forbes

Lob (YC S13) raises $2.4M for easy printing and shipping services API

This summer, the Y Combinator-backed startup Lob launched a new developer API which lets companies easily integrate printing and shipping services into their applications. Today, the company is announcing $2.4 million in seed funding from various YC partners and angel investors... With Lob, whose early adopters include CrowdTilt, ZenPayroll, LendUp, LocalOn, and others, developers can automate or print a variety of products on demand, including postcards, photos, flyers, posters, bills, checks, invoices, and more.

The company says it now has over 1,000 paying customers, and just hit $40,000 in revenue at the end of last month. It has also printed a million dollars worth of checks. On the horizon, there’s the potential for Lob to grow even larger, with now two Fortune 500 companies testing the service on a smaller scale. If those trials come to fruition, they could be multi-million dollar deals, the founders tell us.

Read the full article on TechCrunch

Lawdingo (YC W13) raises $690K so you can talk to a lawyer instantly

Y Combinator-incubated legal startup Lawdingo is announcing that it has raised another $690,000 in funding.

The company’s goal is to make it more convenient and affordable for users to connect with a lawyer (in contrast to a service like LegalZoom, which offers legal forms rather than actual consultation with an attorney). Users can search the site and browse profiles based on a lawyer’s location and expertise, then schedule an appointment or talk to them right then.

Read the full article at TechCrunch

Startup School notes are now for sale as a book, all profits go to Watsi

Startup Notes is now selling its doodles from Startup School 2013 in book form, and they're donating 100% of the profits to Watsi. A note from Startup Notes creator Gregory Koberger: 

"Like everyone else at Startup School, I was mesmerized by Chase Adam’s talk about Watsi, the nonprofit that funds medical care for people around the world. His talk left me wanting to help out somehow.

When I drew my Startup Notes, I wasn't expecting it to get as popular as it did. I recieved hundreds of emails about the project. Many asked me to sell a physical copy, which I had no intention of doing.

Then I had an idea. Bill Morein from FiftyThree, the company behind the iPad app Paper, had reached out to me about Startup Notes. It just so happened that they had just released a new product called Book that lets you print a custom Moleskine book directly from Paper. I asked if FiftyThree would be interested in printing and selling Startup Notes as a physical book, and donating part of it to Watsi. FiftyThree liked the idea, and offered to donate their entire profit to Watsi. So, neither FiftyThree nor I will make any money off this — after printing costs, everything goes to funding medical care via Watsi.

Kicksend (YC S11) lets you print photos to your local Walmart, now making $150K/mo in rev, growing 30% month over month

Mobile photography startup Kicksend has spent the last year inking partnerships with brick-and-mortar retail chains like Walgreens, Target and CVS so it can bring its promise of dead-simple photo sharing and printing to the masses.

Now it looks like Kicksend has another notable feather in its cap — the Mountain View-based company just announced on its blog that it has locked down a deal with Walmart so users can remotely send print jobs to some 3,800 additional stores across the U.S.

It’s certainly a sweet deal for the Kicksend team, especially as they’re finally starting to hit their stride in terms of monthly generated revenue. CEO Pradeep Elankumaran noted that the startup was seeing revenue in the “very low tens of thousands” back in March 2013, but the past six months have seen those figures surge pretty dramatically.

“We’re generating over $150K/month in revenue,” Elankumaran added. “And we’ve been growing 30 percent month-over-month for the past 6 months.” While that’s at least partially a side-effect from Kicksend’s expansion into prominent retail chains, that lift in revenue is also being pegged on strong mobile performance — some 45 percent of Kicksend app users are being converted into paying customers.

Read the full article in TechCrunch