Firebase (YC S11) raises $5.6M Series A from Union Square Ventures and Flybridge

Great news from the Firebase blog today:

We’re thrilled to announce our Series A today!

Firebase exists to help developers build extraordinary experiences. Every day we’re inspired by the things you build, from video sharing services to business collaboration tools to disaster simulation software. This new investment lets us pursue this mission even faster, and it provides the solid financial footing we need to ensure we’ll be around in the long term.

This raise would not have been possible without the amazing people on our team. Firebase would not be here if it weren’t for their dedication and truly excellent work.

Chip Hazard from Flybridge and Albert Wenger from USV will be joining our board. They both bring deep expertise building companies with developer-facing products. Both Chip and Albert sit on the board of 10gen, the makers of MongoDB, and between the two of them they bring experience from Twilio, Crashlytics, and many more.

Videopixie (YC S11) launches the easiest way to create beautiful videos with the help of pro video editors

There are tons of raw video footage out there: Videos taken on vacation or school trips, videos of friends and family, videos taken to show off new restaurants and boutiques. And every day there’s more. But the problem of editing that footage is a problem. For as many of us as there are who like to shoot video, very few of us know how to edit it.

That’s a problem Videopixie is trying to solve, by creating a marketplace devoted entirely to connecting users who have video with those who can edit it. By doing so, it’s providing a way for anyone to have beautiful videos created out of raw footage from professional video editors and animators.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

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Homejoy (YC S10) launches home cleaning as a perk for your employees

As startups compete for the best talent,Homejoy is announcing a way for companies to offer employees an additional perk — a clean home.

Home cleanings may not be a standard perk yet, but they’re not an entirely new idea, either. Last fall, The New York Times wrote that in Silicon Valley, “the employee perk is moving from the office to the home,” with both Evernote and the Stanford School of Medicine experimenting with offering housecleaning to their employees. That can be especially appealing when startups ask teams to work long hours, so they don’t have time to clean their homes themselves.

Read the full article at Techcrunch (YC S12) raises $1.8M from Andreessen Horowitz and Highland Capital Partners, rebrands as Ink, the Y Combinator-backed “filesystem as a service,” is today rebranding itself as “Ink File Picker,” a name that, CEO Brett van Zuiden explains, stands for something much larger than the former, more product-focused title. In addition, the company is announcing a $1.8 million seed round of funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz andHighland Capital Partners.

Others in the round included SV Angel, Google board member Ram ShriramGeoff Ralston (La La Media), Aaron Iba (Y Combinator), Pejman Nozad (Amidzad), Facebook VP of Business Development and Monetization Dan RoseUllas Naik (Streamlined Ventures), Hamid Barkhordar, Bobby Yazdani (Saba Software), Niall Browne (Workday), and Data Collective.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Priceonomics (YC W12) discovers Airbnb lets travellers save up 49.5% on average over hotels nationwide

Whenever we travel, our preference is to stay at an Airbnb instead of a hotel. For those of you unfamiliar with Airbnb, it’s a website that lets travelers stay at apartments they rent from hosts. Sometimes you rent the whole apartment, sometimes just a private room in the host’s home.

Arguably, the experience of staying at an Airbnb is better than staying at a hotel. (But really that’s a matter of personal preference.) At an Airbnb, you get access to a kitchen, you can stay in a neighborhood with character (hotels tend to congregate around touristy areas), and you can stay at some pretty unique places.

But is it actually less expensive to stay at an Airbnb than a hotel? Can you rent an entire apartment for less than the cost of a hotel? We suspected that Airbnb rentals are less expensive than hotels, but are they really?

So, we decide to find out. We looked at every major city in America and compared the cost of a hotel to the cost of renting an apartment on Airbnb. We discovered that Airbnb apartment rentals cost 21.2% less than staying at a hotel. And if you’re on a budget, you can save 49.5% if you decide to stay in a private room at a host’s house instead of staying in a hotel.

Read the full article at Priceonomics

Binary (YC W11) launches the easiest way to code on an iPad

Writing code on an iPad is a seductive idea with a lot of technical hurdles. That’s why developer/entrepreneur/Y Combinator alumnus Darshan Shankar created Binary, an iPad app that lets you write, test, and run code from just about anywhere.

“This means instead of carrying laptops around, a developer could write an app, test it, and deploy it — all from the iPad,” Shankar explained to VentureBeat via email.

Binary also features tabs, themes, syntax highlighting, and all the handy code editor/IDE features you love so well.

“I use a Bluetooth keyboard with it and do most of my development on the iPad now,” said Shankar. “With Binary, you can write any app — a website, Node.js server, Python server, an iPhone app — anything!”

Read the full article at VentureBeat

FlightCar (YC W13) on MSNBC: Three 18 year olds drop out to change an industry

Watch the full 5 minute interview and hear how 18-year-old founders Shri, Rujul and Kevin got started at SFO, launched a minimal viable product, got a cease and desist, and just kept going. 

"As it turns out, Flightcar is working." --MSNBC

It happens all time. Someone has a great idea, turns it into a company and then nobody’s interested. As a result, the founders of FlightCar wanted to minimize their risk. They had a unique idea to re-think the way the rental car industry works. Before spending too much time or money, they launched their business with the bare minimum to see how customers would react.