Listia (YC S09) launches a Rewards Store, grows 400% in the last 6 months

Listia, a startup that allows users to exchange free goods, is expanding its model today by taking its new Rewards Store out of beta testing.

On the Listia site, people can give away things that they don’t want or need anymore. When you give something away, you earn points on the site, which you can then redeem for the goods that offered by other users. Until now, however, what those points actually got you depended on what other users were posting, and all the goods were used (unless, for some reason, you decided to give away something brand new).

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Virool (YC S12) launches the easiest and best way for video creators to boost their virality

Virool, which is part of the current Y Combinator Summer 2012 class, has launched a self-serve platform that will let any YouTube user increase their video views through placement in Facebook and mobile apps.

Its platform works like this: On the publisher side, Virool provides an API that developers can use to hook into the platform and deliver relevant videos to their users. Video producers who want to use the system can link to their YouTube videos in Virool, providing keywords they’d like to target and relevant geographical markets they’d like to see videos appear in. They can pay as little as $10 to promote their content, which is then pushed out to Virool’s network, to appear in any number of mobile or Facebook applications.

Per Vices (YC W12) featured in Ars Technica: Could do for radio what the Apple I did for computing

In 1976, two shaggy-haired college dropouts founded a company called Apple to manufacture personal computers. The company's prospects looked so poor that the third co-founder relinquished his 10 percent stake in the company for $800 that same year. It simply wasn't clear why anyone would want the firm's Apple I computer. It was so under-powered that it couldn't perform many of the functions of mainframes and minicomputers that were already on the market. And most consumers had no interest in having a computer in their homes.

Today, of course, Apple is the world's largest company by market capitalization. What was important about the Apple I wasn't the meager capabilities of the original version, but the promise it held for rapid innovation in the coming decades.

Now, a company called Per Vices hopes to do for wireless communication what Apple did for computing. It is selling software-defined radio gear called the Phi that, like the Apple I, is likely to be of little interest to the average consumer (it was even briefly priced at the same point as the Apple I, $666.66, but has since been placed at $750). But the device, and others like it, has the potential to transform the wireless industry. This time, the revolution will depend on hackers enabled to manipulate radio signals in software.

Read the full article at Ars Technica

Filepicker.io (YC S12) brings easy file uploads and cloud services to iOS, Android and the web

Filepicker.io, a Y Combinator-backed company building tools that make it easier for developers to integrate access to cloud services within their applications, is now bringing its capabilities to mobile developers building apps on iOS and Android. With the new Filepicker.io Mobile Library, developers can quickly add integrations which let their apps connect to popular online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Facebook, Flickr, Evernote and more.

For developers, the result of using the drop-in SDK is a sped up time to market, as Filepicker eliminates the need to code these type of integrations themselves. For end users of the apps, it means an easier way to move data between their favorite cloud services, without having to first save a copy locally to their device.

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Parallel Universe (YC S12) launches a spatial in-memory database for infinitely large 2D and 3D games and simulations

Parallel Universe is an Israeli technology company that promises video game companies the capability to make Matrix-style games through parallel processing, allowing millions of objects to be tracked in real-time. We’re talking about the ability to create a game with thousands of players and untold number of aliens and battleships shooting nuclear missiles and green rays. Really.

Founder Ron Pressler is a software engineer who has been developing simulated environments for the Israeli Air Force. He is part of this summer’s Y Combinatorclass. Spacebase, the company’s first product, is an offshoot of the military technology Pressler developed. It offers server-side, in-memory, low-latency, dynamic, concurrent and distributed spatial data-store for 2D and 3D spatial objects. Primary markets for the technology include MMO (massively multiplayer online) games, defense applications and location-based services.

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Stripe (YC S09) raises $20M Series B from General Catalyst, Redpoint, now used by over 100,000 developers

White-hot payments startup Stripe has closed a $20 million Series B round of financing, led by General Catalyst with existing A-list investors Sequoia, Peter Thiel (personally) and angels Chris Dixon, Aaron Levie and Elad Gil also following on. Redpoint will be coming on as a new investor.

Stripe’s valuation during this Series B was in the hundreds of millions, up to a half-billion dollars, according to a source (It’s unclear whether that valuation is pre- or post-money). The relatively under-the-radar company has already raised $20 million in prior funding from the aforementioned investors as well as PayPal co-founders Max Levchin and Elon Musk, with the under-reported $20 million Series A happening 12 months before this round closed.

While the startup has declined to share specific metrics, Stripe is “growing like Square” according to one well-informed source. In the same space as Braintree, Stripe wants to corner the online transaction market by streamlining the heinous process of building out a payments system.

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Plivo (YC S12) launches scalable API platform for Voice & SMS apps

Plivo, a telephony startup from the current Y Combinator batch, is today launching its API platform for voice and SMS applications. Despite the sound of it, Plivo is not a direct competitor with developer-friendly Twilio, but is targeting larger businesses in need of scale.

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Launched six months ago in invite-only mode, Plivo now has a dozen customers, half of which are paying. From those paying customers, it now handles 4 million minutes per month on its platform. One of its customers switched from another provider and is now saving 60% in costs, says Venky.

Today, Plivo is exiting its invite-only status and making its platform available to all. For those wanting to use Plivo’s carriers, it’s available in the U.S. and Canada for now. For businesses with their own carrier relationships, Plivo can be used worldwide.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Meetings.io (YC W11) attracts 100K users in 2 months, adds screen and file sharing

Google Plus, eat your heart out. Group video conferencing service  to 100,000 users since launching in April. The startup’s three founders have been heads down developing screen-sharing and file transfer features, released today, with lofty plans of taking on Webex and other clunky video conference services for the enterprise.

The promise of this Y Combinator company is a free tool to start conversations with anyone in the world in seconds, no registration required. If you choose to sign up, you’ll be given a permanent meeting room. Invite up to 5 friends into your room with a link (for example, Meetings.io/John), and share a side-by-side screen.

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