YC Portfolio Stats

We get asked a lot for statistics on the YC portfolio.  Even though some of these aren’t that helpful [1], here is the latest update on the numbers we get asked about the most.  As always, all the credit goes to the founders. 

Total market cap of all YC companies: >$30 billion

Total money raised by all YC companies: >$3 billion

Number of YC companies worth more than $1 billion: 3 [2]

Number of YC companies worth more than $100 million: >20 [3]

Number of companies funded by YC so far: 716

Number of companies in the current batch: 85

Acceptance rate of the current batch: <3%

Number of nuclear energy companies in the current batch: 2


[1] Intermediate valuations aren’t worth very much, for example.  But we don’t keep statistics on total revenue or jobs created, though I expect both numbers would be impressive.

 [2] This is how many companies are currently worth over $1 billion, but even if we never funded another company I think it would at least double and probably triple or quadruple.

 [3] Similar to the note above, this number should go up a lot just from our current portfolio—it generally takes companies a few years to get above this threshold.

MedXT’s (YC W13) Platform Brings Medical Imaging In Line With Today’s Cloud Technology

Today MedXT launches its cloud platform for medical imaging, which brings the workflows of radiologists and technicians in line with the rest of us by bridging imaging equipment already installed at hospital and clinics with our electronic health records.

While health care reform has done a lot to push electronic health records forward, many practices in the medical industry continue to rely on technologies and practices that predate the Internet. Images from a CT or MRI scan are saved to a DVD and physically transported from one facility to another, or scanners may only connect to computers on-premises via networking protocols unfamiliar to most in the Valley.

There are two key features to MedXT’s platform. The first is the software running on a server located at a hospital or clinic that acts as the recipient on the local network for data coming from imaging devices, like CT scanners, in the old-school DICOM format. MedXT CTO Reshma Khilnani told TechCrunch that the software can be installed in minutes and that the imaging equipment just does its thing pointed at a new address, no upgrade necessary.

With A Mobile App, MTailor (YC S14) Offers Custom-Fit Tailored Shirts For Just $69

If you want to look good, one of the easiest ways to do so is by simply making sure that your clothes fit well. But it’s not cheap — going to a tailor to get a shirt fitted and made costs real money.

Y Combinator-backed MTailor wants to change that by offering affordable, custom-fit clothing. It can do that because it removes much of the cost associated with taking customers’ measurements by measuring them via mobile apps.

MTailor is a new kind of fashion company, one which enables customers to design and purchase premium, tailored shirts for just $69 each. That’s well below what one might expect if they went to a tailor to have a shirt fitted, and even less than some people will pay if they were to buy a dress shirt off the rack from a department store.

Y Combinator has filed an official comment with the FCC

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington D.C. 20554

July 14, 2014

Re: Open Internet Remand, GN Docket 14-28

Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Rielly:

Y Combinator is Silicon Valley’s premier early stage investor. Y Combinator has been investing in early stage startups since 2005 and now has a portfolio of over 700 companies valued at over $20 billion and creating over 3,000 jobs at quickly growing companies, many of whom are aggressively hiring. Y Combinator was an early investor in Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, Scribd, Heroku, Pebble, Twitch, Loopt, WePay, Crowdtilt, Teespring, Codecademy, Hipmunk, Coinbase, Cloudkick, Wufoo, ZenPayroll, SocialCam, Parse, and reddit.

The New York Times called Y Combinator “Silicon Valley’s Startup Machine”; the Times also described Y Combinator’s demo days, where our early stage companies present their products and services to “450 of the world’s richest and most influential technology investors” as “a biannual milestone, Silicon Valley’s version of the N.F.L. Scouting Combine.” We were the subject of a book by the Times’s former Digital Domain columnist, The Launch Pad, in which Eric Ries called us “a national treasure, a Silicon Valley seed fund that is mass-producing new startups,” and Marc Andreessen declared we were the “white-hot center of the new Silicon Valley startup ecosystem.” Within Silicon Valley, receiving funding from Y Combinator often carries more credibility than a degree from Harvard or Stanford. We receive thousands of applications from companies for fewer than 60 investments -- an acceptance rate lower than any of the nation’s top universities.

I was lucky enough to be in the very first round of Y Combinator’s investments and created reddit.com with my college roommate Steve Huffman. We were two recent college graduates with no connections and $12,000 in funding, raised from Y Combinator, building something from a pair of computers in a small rented apartment in Medford, MA. Today reddit is a top 50 website with over 110 million monthly unique visitors -- more traffic than CNN.com or NYTimes.com. We lived the American Dream thanks to the open internet and today I’m a partner at Y Combinator.

How? The world isn’t flat; but the world wide web is. It must remain that way.

We need the FCC to keep the level playing field that let me--and so many others--succeed as entrepreneurs. The reason so much innovation and wealth creation has happened in tech over the last decade is that any American with her laptop and Internet connection could build a startup and compete with incumbents (and even beat them) without a team of lawyers and without a large budget to pay for priority from ISPs.

Let me be clear: we need a bright-line, per se rule against discrimination, access fees, and paid prioritization on both mobile and fixed.

Title II of the Communications Act seems the most appropriate way to properly define broadband ISPs to be offering telecommunications. Speaking on behalf of Y Combinator, I’m urging you to adopt such a rule.

The rule you have proposed, based on Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, would not suffice. We know Section 706 cannot support a rule against discrimination, access fees, and paid prioritization because the appellate court in Verizon v. FCC ruled on these matters. The Court wrote: “We think it obvious that the Commission would violate the Communications Act were it to regulate broadband providers as common carriers. Given the Commission’s still-binding decision to classify broadband providers not as providers of ‘telecommunications services’ [under Title II] but instead as providers of ‘information services,’ … such treatment would” violate the Act. The Court held that, absent reclassifying broadband providers as Title II carriers, the FCC would be treating broadband providers as common carriers unless it left open room for “substantial room for individualized bargaining and discrimination in terms.”

Therefore, the FCC cannot impose a nondiscrimination rule--unless it classifies broadband providers under Title II. The Court also held that, without classifying broadband providers under Title II, the FCC could not ban charging fees for priority access, even though the FCC recognized such fees would be a “significant departure from historical and current practice.” The FCC could not ban such fees without Title II because banning the fees would leave “no room at all” for individualized bargaining and discrimination, which is necessary under Section 706. The Court simply couldn’t have been clearer: so long as the FCC refuses to classify broadband providers as “telecommunications services” under Title II, the FCC cannot ban ISPs’ technical discrimination, access fees, or paid prioritization.

While the Chairman has sought to protect innovation through a “commercial reasonableness” test and a “minimum” service guarantee, unfortunately neither would provide startups any relief. No startup has the funds and lawyers and economists to take on billion-dollar ISPs in an FCC action based on the vague legal standards in the proposal. Indeed, the startup ecosystem needs a bright-line, per se rule against discrimination--rather than a multi-part, totality-of-the-circumstances standard with a case-by-case approach or even a mere presumption against discrimination. Anything less would cause considerable uncertainty for entrepreneurs and investors and provide little comfort, as startups and small businesses are resource-constrained and need to know that access to the Internet will remain neutral, as it has been in the past.    

And, even with access to at least minimum service (often metaphorically referred to as a “slow lane”), startups would struggle to compete against those who were able to afford paying for a fast lane--or an exclusive fast lane. Even the slightest discrimination or paid prioritization significantly affects startups, as microseconds matter with both webpage-loading and real-time content. That discriminatory treatment harms startups is reflected by the outpouring of dissent from startup founders and investors alike. The fate of reddit may have been very different if Comcast had discriminated against our little two-person-startup in favor of the NBC.com news portal and the sites of other news giants.

Only reclassifying broadband as Title II will protect an open and neutral Internet. In pursuing reclassification, however, the FCC should choose to forebear from regulations unneeded to promote competition and innovation. As recommended by the EFF, the FCC should “explicitly reject any telecommunications regulations beyond specific and narrow prohibitions and requirements designed to create a fair and level playing field for innovation and user choice.”

Over 190 companies, 100 investors, and hundreds of thousands of average individuals have already spoken up to oppose the Chairman’s plan and call for nondiscrimination and a ban on new tolls. Even before initial comments are due, several companies have called for Title II reclassification; these include Kickstarter (doing so in the Washington Post), Etsy, Codecademy, Dwolla, General Assembly, CodeCombat, Contextly, and OpenCurriculum. Leading investors in technology startups, including Union Square Ventures and, now, Y Combinator have also urged the Commission to pursue Title II.

Competition is the fuel of the free market. We demand it not only as investors looking to invest in the next multi-billion-dollar American job creator, and not only as entrepreneurs who want to start it, but also as consumers who want to see innovation continue to thrive. Our sector requires a level playing field in order to lead the world, create jobs, and produce tremendous value for the United States economy.

Mr. Chairman, you say you oppose a two-tier Internet and want to preserve Internet openness, so let’s reclassify broadband as the public utility we know it to be. Ensure that the Internet thrives as a platform for free commerce and speech for generations to come. May the United States of America continue to lead in innovating on the greatest free market the world has ever seen.

Sincerely,

Alexis Ohanian
Partner, Y Combinator
Startup founder, reddit

A month at Y Combinator: What it’s like after you’ve been accepted

Mathilde Collin, founder of Front, wrote about her experience in YC's S14 batch for The Next Web

About six weeks ago, I was sitting in front of my computer waiting for one email. Not just any email. The email.

We had just flown from Paris to Mountain View for our 10-minute interview at the Y Combinator and it was now over. All we had left to do was wait.

Finally, a couple of hours after the interview, the news finally arrived. We were accepted. The email was so short, but it instantly changed all that we were about to do with our company in the following months.

Since that day, it pretty much has been rush hour every hour of the day and we’ve kept ourselves busy. We’ve been asked a lot how it’s going and what actually happens inside of YC once you’re there.

The famous Mountain View incubator definitely has a reputation of being quite mysterious and we want to share our insider’s view after our first month.

Interview with YC's Kate Courteau

New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund, posted a two-part interview with YC's Director of Nonprofits Kate Courteau. 

Excerpt from Part 1

(SH): Why did YC decide to start supporting social entrepreneurs?

(KC): We came to this somewhat by accident, which is exactly how YC itself started in 2005. We found WATSI on Hacker News (YC’s listserv) because it was generating a lot of buzz as a nonprofit startup doing impactful work and utilizing the power of technology to reach a lot of people. YC’s Paul Graham reached out to WATSI directly and asked if they’d like to be part of the current YC batch which included a baseline grant of $24,000 and 3 months of focusing on their work and utilizing our team for mentoring. We’d always talked about doing work in this space but this was the unofficial humble beginning of our work in the nonprofit sector.

WATSI told us how much the YC program impacted their progress so we realized that a lot of the benefit of YC could be universally applied to all startups; for-profit and nonprofit. We also recognized that the WATSI team operated in the way that most great for-profit startups do. They were very determined and focused and moved quickly; launching early and iterating based on watching how their users interacted with their site. They had a vision for the future of WATSI. It’s evolved a bit but they continue to be a strong, mission-based company that works in the nonprofit world in a very transparent way. This experiment seemed to work so well that in January 2014, we decided to officially launch our nonprofit program.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 on the New Profit blog

An E-Commerce Site Where You Can Haggle Down The Price

Founders Andrew Kurland and Joe Marrapodi created their e-commerce negotiation site, Greentoe, out of frustration. The two were spending too much time trying to find the best deals online. That was proving time-consuming and difficult...

The site works like this: You want to buy, say, a new Canon EOS Rebel camera and you want the best price you can get. But you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking. Greentoe recruits a bunch of vetted online retailers. It then simplifies the process by showing you the average price and the lowest price for each product currently available online. You are then able to say how much you are personally willing to pay for that product.

Going with our EOS Rebel theme here, you see that the price for the kind of camera you want is around $549-$594 online. We found it on Amazon for $749 (and that was with a $50 savings offer). You decide you would like to buy this camera for the much lower price of $460. The Greentoe meter will let you know whether you’ve got a good chance or not to get that price. You are lucky on this one. The seller agrees to the price. Congrats, you’ve made a deal!

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Make Things and Show Them

We've often been asked to make a section of Hacker News that's just for Show HNs, so we did. We're releasing it today, along with a new set of Show HN guidelines.

In late 2008 and early 2009, users submitting their work to Hacker News began prefixing submission titles with "Show HN". This caught on [1], and "Show HN" became a sort of badge for posts sharing original work with the community. Show HN threads became places for in-depth discussion of new work. They are a way for products to get users, creators to get feedback, and readers to learn and be inspired.

There have been about 24,000 Show HNs so far. The first used the title "Show and Tell HN", and was GitHub-related. The second, and the first to use the "Show HN" convention [2], was a face recognition project. And the third was a Hacker News alternative. Plus ça change...

Hacker News users have grown fond of their Show HNs. We often hear that they're the best part of the site. We hope there will be many more, and look forward to seeing what you all come up with!


[1] But it took a while: there was 1 post in 2008, 9 in 2009, and 452 in 2010.

[2] Its submitter, lbrandy, says the title "was definitely a play on 'Ask HN'."

New RFS: One Million Jobs

We want to fund companies that have the potential to create a million jobs.  There are a lot of areas where it makes sense to divide labor between humans and computers—we are very good at some things computers are terrible at and vice versa—and some of these require huge amounts of human resources.

This is both good for the world and likely a good business strategy—as existing jobs go away, a company that creates a lot of new jobs should be able to get a lot of talented people.

(We aren't looking for companies that plan to have a million employees.  Probably the easiest way to do this is to create a platform that lets a million people create their own jobs.  Uber may do this, for example.  Healthcare or education platforms that let people provide services are other examples of what might work.)

View other Requests for Startups.

Nightingale (YC S14) Is Building Software To Simplify Behavioral Therapy Tracking

For decades, the data collection process for behavioral therapists has mostly been manually done. But now, a new startup called Nightingale is seeking to change the way that behavioral therapists collect and report data, simplifying the process with mobile apps instead of pen and paper.

According to Nightingale co-founder Delian Asparouhov, most behavioral therapists today take notes manually and then transcribe those notes and enter them into Excel spreadsheets. As a result, they spend most of their days not working with students, but doing paperwork. Furthermore, not much is done with the data once it’s collected. It’s used to measure improvement in a student’s behavior, and is occasionally audited by insurers to qualify payment for therapy. But that’s about it.

To start, Nightingale is targeting Autism therapy. It provides a solution that will allow clinical directors and behavioral therapists to decide which data is collected and how it is graphed, with an easy, customizable drag-and-drop system.