It's OK, I've got Lawdingo (YC W13)

If you’re going to launch a business with a video, you might as well be funny.

That’s what the good folks at Lawdingo have done with a brilliant, tongue-in-cheek look at legal advice.

If you’ve not heard about Lawdingo, you’re missing out. One reputable source declared it“the way of the future,” and we’re not about to argue with ourselves. Lawdingo lets a prospective client connect with an attorney and get an immediate legal consultation online with an eye toward building an ongoing attorney-client relationship.


Instacart (YC S12) adds Costco delivery to San Francisco, no membership needed

Instacart, the quickly growing grocery delivery service today added Costco to its list of stores that users can browse digitally and shop from. Key to this addition: Instacart does not requires its users to be Costco members to have its wares delivered to their domicile.

There are a few caveats, of course: While Instacart services three markets in the Bay Area, the Costco delivery service will service San Francisco only, to start. Also, the fee associated with delivery from its stores will be higher, clocking in at $9.99 for your collection of items, stiffer than the normal $3.99 rate.

Instacart told TNW that its 2-hour delivery option provides a speed that Costco delivery does not match. That, and its service provides more selection than Costco’s delivery option, at a lower or similar price. The Costco option will be available across Instacart’s normal platforms: iPhone, the Web, and iPad.

Read the full article on TNW

Order Costco at Instacart (YC W08) announces 10X growth in the last year for its write-once-run-anywhere mobile platform

We launched our Forge platform in January last year. We’re immensely proud of it. Nevertheless, many things have changed since then as we’ve iterated fast with new releases week after week.

Our goal is the same: to provide web developers with the best framework for developing mobile apps across multiple platforms.

There’s a huge shift to mobile underway right now and we’re really only at the start. Ranking #1 for a search for “phonegap done right” and #4 for “mobile development platform” with our article on how to understand mobile platforms we want to enable web developers to make the transition with helpful content as well as our platform.

If you haven’t already check out Forge to see how it can accelerate your app plans by letting you re-use your HTML / CSS / JS skills and code for your mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or mobile web.

We’re pretty happy with that strong growth – 10x since March last year. More developers are more engaged than ever in our platform – you can see examples of what they’ve created on our site.

Our customers range from companies building apps for themselves, through contract web developers and studios to product companies that are building many templated apps for industry verticals.

Read the full article on the blog

CrowdMed (YC W13) featured in New Scientist: Crowd diagnosis could spot rare diseases doctors miss

Shortly after a backpacking trip in Michigan in 2009, 20-year-old Sarah Sheridan came down with what seemed to be a nasty case of the flu. Unlike the flu, however, her symptoms only got worse with time. Blood tests, MRI scans, spinal taps and other investigations came back normal or inconclusive.

Sheridan spent the next three years in and out of hospital, all to no avail. Her insurance claims swelled to over $100,000. It wasn't until a chance encounter with someone who'd had Lyme disease that she finally found relief.

New web-based tools seek to spare others from a similar ordeal. CrowdMed, launched on 16 April at the TedMed conference in Washington DC, uses crowds to solve tough medical cases.

Anyone can join CrowdMed and analyse cases, regardless of their background or training. Participants are given points that they can then use to bet on the correct diagnosis from lists of suggestions. This creates a prediction market, with diagnoses falling and rising in value based on their popularity, like stocks in a stock market. Algorithms then calculate the probability that each diagnosis will be correct.

Crowdtilt (YC W12) Confirms $12M Raise From Andreessen, Sean Parker, Dave Morin & Others

Last month, we reported that Crowdtilt, the Y Combinator alum that launched just over a year ago with plans to become “the Kickstarter for any group,” had raised $12 million in Series A financing from a group of notable investors, including Napster, Causes and Airtime founder Sean Parker and Path’s Dave Morin.

Today, Crowdtilt has confirmed these reports and is officially announcing the close of its Series A financing. In so doing, the startup is adding a few more names to its roster of investors, which is led by Andreessen Horowitz and includes Sean Parker, SV Angel and DCM, along with CrunchFund, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, Elad Gil, AngelList’s Naval Ravikant, Sam Altman, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Dave Morin and and Exec founder, Justin Kan. As a result of the round, Andreessen Partner Jeff Jordan (also the former President and CEO of OpenTable), will be joining the startup’s board of directors.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Verbling (YC S11) brings immersive language learning into your living room with Courses

When trying to master a new language, practice speaking and listening to it is essential. You don’t become fluent by conjugating verbs in a workbook or listening to recordings, but many of us don’t have the capability to spend months abroad honing conversation skills.

Y Combinator-backed Verbling is a platform that connects people online to practice speaking foreign languages together. Today, the startup introduced Verbling Courses, a new product that seeks to make students proficient as quickly as possible.

Read the full article at Venturebeat

ZenPayroll (YC W12) and Xero form cloud-based accounting partnership to rival the likes of ADP and QuickBooks

ZenPayroll, a cloud-based payroll management service, announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Xero, a small business accounting software, to take on the industry’s market leaders and give businesses an alternative when it comes to managing their finances.

With this new relationship, small businesses can now choose between traditional industry powerhouses ADP and Intuit/QuickBooks for their accounting needs, or this cloud-based accounting paradigm that ZenPayroll and Xero hope to offer them.

Read the full article on TNW

Heap (YC W13) launches a modern take on analytics: Track everything, and write no code to do it

In a startup’s never-ending battle for new users, data is king. When the decision to put that shiny signup button down here vs. up there can mean the difference between 40 percent of new visitors signing up instead of 20 percent, good data analysis can be what puts food on the table.

YC-backed analytics service Heap wants to make analytics better. They want to help you to code less, but grow more.

With many analytics tools (whether its something built in-house, or something like Google Analytics’ event tracker), the decision to track a new metric can take days to implement. First, you’ve gotta decide what you want to track. Then you write and test the code — or, in the case of a bigger company, you wait for one of the engineers to write and test the code (a task that’s probably somewhere around 200 items deep on their to-do list.)

Then you wait. Since you weren’t capturing that specific data before, it’ll be a few days before enough data trickles in to be meaningful.

Heap, meanwhile, captures everything from the day you install it onward. If a user clicks on an image, it’ll log it. If they’re pressing keys on the keyboard because your UI incorrectly implies that’s what they should do, it’ll log it. Every click, every page view, every form submission — if it’s something their lil’ blurp of JavaScript can capture, they log it.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Try Heap Analytics and stop having to write tracking codes for everything

InterviewStreet (YC S11) in Forbes Magazine: The Prince of Programming Contests helps top coders worldwide get the best jobs

In Silicon Valley Talent War, Zombie Math Rules, appearing in the May 6, 2013 issue of Forbes: 

Within Silicon Valley the prince of programming contests is Vivek Ravisankar, a 26-year-old Indian immigrant who cofounded InterviewStreet, which earned interviews for some 5,000 engineers worldwide last year and placed about 500 in jobs. Ravisankar started the company in 2009, soon after quitting a safe corporate job in India helping with its Kindle blogs. In 2011 Ravisankar won a spot in the Y Combinator school for startups (birthplace of Dropbox and Airbnb) . He eventually moved from Chennai to a cousin’s sofa in Sunnyvale, Calif. and set out to build a coding-challenge business.

Powerful people took a liking to this energetic striver. Vinod Khosla, the billionaire venture capitalist and cofounder of Sun Microsystems, provided Ravisankar with $3 million. InterviewStreet collects money in several ways from companies looking to hire. Some pay a $3,000 to $5,000 monthly subscription fee for access to InterviewStreet’s coder database; others buy talent a la carte, paying InterviewStreet $10,000 per hire, a bargain compared to conventional recruiters’ fees of $30,000 or more. Companies can also sponsor their own contests, known as Code?Sprints, which bring marketing cachet as well as new hires.

InterviewStreet has expanded to 17 people, 6 of whom work in a bare-bones office in Mountain View, Calif., with the rest in Bangalore, led by cofounder Hari Karunanidhi, Ravisankar’s college buddy. Competitive coders are their tribe. As a boy Ravisankar won candies and other treats from his parents by posing logic problems that his father couldn’t solve. Even today he and cofounder Karunanidhi set aside a few hours on Sundays for one-on-one coding competitions. “I’m the better programmer,” Karunanidhi says. “It’s only because I don’t have enough time to stay sharp,” Ravisankar replies.

InterviewStreet was the ticket out of Siberia for Yakunin, the programmer from Ekaterinburg. He wowed the hiring engineers at Quora, a knowledge-sharing website in Mountain View, Calif., by being the only person out of more than 700 respondents to win a perfect score on a CodeSprint challenge it sponsored. Often the best coders aren’t eager to apply for a job. They just want to prove their mettle against all comers. Mindful of this dynamic, InterviewStreet moved the bulk of its contests to a website called HackerRank, where most entrants log in with pseudonymous user names. Job hunters authorize the site to reveal their real names to potential employers.