FundersClub (YC S12) now shares carried interest with members on startup investment referrals

As barriers around general solicitation come crashing down, FundersClub is looking at new ways to stay on top.

The startup released a new feature today that rewards members of its community for making referrals. FundersClub will share 10 percent of the total carried interest on a fund with the member who refers the target company. Carried interest is a share of the profits of an investment or fund that is paid to the investment manager (in this case, FundersClub), despite not contributing any initial funds. If FundersClub receives carried interest on a fund, through a liquidity event like an acquisition or IPO, the referrer will receive a little something extra as well. This gives accredited investors an opportunity that it typically only available to general partners at VC firms.

Read the full article at VentureBeat

Estimote (YC S13) launches sensor-based analytics platform, with preorders now available

Founder Jakub Krzych on the Estimote vision:

Our primary area of interest at this moment is brick and mortar retail stores. More than 90 percent of transactions worldwide are still made in physical venues. More importantly, more than half of consumers who visit stores have smartphones, and that number is growing rapidly.

Thanks to popular communication technologies such as Bluetooth and WiFi, there are exciting new opportunities to understand how people behave and engage with products in stores.

New data and communication technology can be used to improve customer experience, bringing in new revenue streams for retail stores or cutting their costs. We call this smart retail.

We are currently piloting our solutions with the largest retailers in the United States and Europe. We have also launched preorder sales of our Developer Kits, which consist of sample beacon devices, as well as our SDK, which enables mobile developers and retail consulting agencies to add micro-location context to their mobile apps.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

StatusPage (YC S13) launches: Now anyone can have a status page as good as Parse, New Relic, or Shopify's

Y Combinator-backed StatusPage is in the fortunate position of having paying customers like Jawbone, Shopify, New Relic, Parse, Ping Identity and Zendesk, ahead of today’s official debut. The startup, as you may have guessed, offers a hosted status page for any company with a website, service or application. It’s the kind of thing many businesses want to offer their customers, but often don’t have the time or resources to build themselves.

In addition to showing the items being tracked and their current status, StatusPage also allows companies to communicate to customers about the problems and how they’re being resolved, both on the site, as well as via email or text. Beneath the page’s dashboard and accompanying graphs, a history of previous incident reports is also available. (Here’s an example.)

...

Scott says that the entire time it takes for a company to get their page set up and ready to go is realistically around 15 to 30 minutes at most. “One of the reasons people don’t do this is because they’re strapped for development time,” he says. “So one of the challenges for us is to really get this done without any developer time.”  The page can actually be set up by anyone who knows the basic CSS colors and has the images the company wants to use (like a logo), Scott explains; that could be a somewhat technical office staffer if developers are too busy.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Dropbox (YC S07) in Wired: "It's going to work this way in the future. Why not us?" —Drew Houston

“Tom Cruise in Minority Report is not carrying around a thumb drive or logging into Gmail to pick up his attachment,” Houston says. The time is near, he believes, when the “pervasive data layer” becomes an expected part of the fabric of everyday life. It’s just a question of which company builds the best loom for weaving that virtual tapestry. “It’s going to work this way in the future. Why not us?”

Read the full article in Wired

Pebble (YC W11) ships over 275K units, tops 1M watch apps downloaded

Smartwatch startup Pebble revealed today for the first time that it has received 190,000 pre-orders for its wearable computing accessory through its own web store following the tremendously successful Kickstarter campaign it ran last year. That means it amassed around 275,000 pre-orders total for the smartwatch, which is impressive early traction for a device that didn’t have a proven market in place to sell into.

Pebble co-founder Eric Migicovsky told me the company wanted to reveal the total order volume now as a follow-up to its Best Buy availability announcement, in order to provide some context around the challenges the startup has faced in terms of shipping product to backers. Response at Best buy has also been very good, Migicovsky says, though the team isn’t yet ready to talk about specific numbers. The Pebble is sold out at many of Best Buy’s retail locations already.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Coinbase (YC S12) announces instant bitcoin purchases

Big news on the Coinbase blog — instant bitcoin purchases:

You know what’s really satisfying?  Being able to buy Bitcoin without a lot of hassle.  That’s what Coinbase has always let you do.

But you know what’s really awesome?  Being able to buy Bitcoin instantly, on-demand, any time you want, without having to wait for your slow, ancient-technology bank to approve a transfer first.

Well, today at Coinbase, we are enabling this feature for fully verified users.  Fully verified users can now buy up to 50 bitcoin instantly.

Mixpanel (YC S09) announces Data Driven Conference 2013, July 31 — Max Levchin and Aaron Levie speaking

Just collecting data won't make your company successful. You need to put your data to work.

DDC 2013 is the first event to bring together some of the smartest data-driven people in technology for an afternoon of unscripted conversations on how the data driven approach is impacting all aspects of business from product development and design to marketing and customer communications.

Listen to insightful discussions with a select group of executives to learn how to put data to work to make your product and business better.

Learn more and register at mixpanel

Comprehend (YC W11) raises $8.4M Series A from Sequoia to help bring drugs and medical devices to market faster

Sequoia Capital has led a Series A investment of $8.4 million in Comprehend Systems Inc., VentureWire has learned. The company’s software as a service helps the makers of drugs and medical devices tie together disparate software, systems and data that they use to advance through clinical trials.

Ultimately, Comprehend Systems wants to decrease the costs associated with clinical trials and increase the speed with which companies can bring tested, life-saving drugs and medical devices to people who need them, said Chief Executive Rick Morrison, the company’s founder.

Comprehend Systems, which has 11 employees, graduated from the Y Combinator accelerator in Winter 2011 and raised a $1.2 million seed investment, as VentureWire previously reported.

Joining Sequoia in the Series A round were angel investors including Aaron Levie, the founder of Box Inc.; the Life Sciences Angel Network in New York; and several other angel investors with experience in enterprise technology or life sciences.

According to Mr. Morrison, users of Comprehend Systems’ software-as-a-service include executives at medical device companies and drug makers, such as chief information officers and directors of data management or clinical operations, who need to understand the status of multiple clinical trials at once; managers responsible for making a specific trial run smoothly; and field workers in labs or clinics, who may work directly with patients.

Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal

iCracked (YC W12) in Mashable: "You learn more in the first 6 weeks of starting than all 4 years of college."

Name: iCracked

One-Liner Pitch: A network of iTechs in every city provides customers with device repair, buyback, insurance or redistribution.

Why It's Taking-Off: The startup makes it cheaper and more convenient to repair broken screens on iPhones, iPads and iPods — and soon, Android devices, too.

AJ Forsythe, 25, and Anthony Martin, 26, first met during their freshman year at California Polytechnic State University. AJ admired Anthony’s entrepreneurial spirit; he had started a peer-to-peer textbook rental company in Santa Barbara. Forsythe's sights were set beyond the classroom, too. He harvested grapes with his brother at a local winery and ran a beekeeping business, in addition to juggling his psychology and biology classes.

But he saw potential elsewhere: fixing iPhone screens. During his junior year, with the help of some friends in electrical engineering, Forsythe discovered how to repair a cracked screen on his phone without taking it to the Apple store. So one day, particularly despondent after a job fair, he set up shop in the school library, creating flyers for his new business idea on Microsoft Paint and hanging them in every classroom on campus. That led to bringing Martin — along with a few others — on board. Their mission: to reach every college campus in the United States.

“You learn more in the first six weeks of starting company than in all four years of college,” Forsythe said to Mashable in an interview. “There is so much you can learn from starting something new.”

Read the full article in Mashable

Instacart (YC S12) raises $8.5M from Sequoia Capital to scale its instant grocery delivery service to 10 cities nationwide

Unlike most people, Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz hasn’t forgotten the dot-com-era online grocery-delivery company Webvan. While EToys, another Sequoia investment, was also a flameout, Webvan was the bigger disaster, operating for less than two years and churning through $375 million from its initial public offering before it went out of business in 2001. So Sequoia’s July 10 announcement that it’s investing $8 million in a San Francisco-based online grocery upstart, Instacart, raised some dormant traumas. “We had still been receiving outpatient therapy for our Webvan fiasco,” says Moritz, who’s joining the year-old company’s board. Still, with Instacart, he says, “There is little danger of a relapse.”

Read the full article in Businessweek