Rickshaw (YC W14) Provides An API For Local Deliveries

Rickshaw, the same-day delivery platform, launched today on TechCrunch after operating in stealth since the Winter 2014 batch of YC: 

"Ever since Uber launched to enable users to hail a ride with a mobile app, any number of on-demand and same-day delivery services have emerged. In most cases, those companies end up building out their own logistics infrastructure and hiring their own delivery drivers.

But why keep reinventing the wheel if the delivery and routing part of the service isn’t a part of your core competency? That’s the thinking behind Y Combinator-backed Rickshaw, which hopes to enable companies to outsource the logistics layer of the local delivery process in a way that will make same day pickups and drop-offs more efficient for all.

Rickshaw was founded by Divya Bhat and Gautam Jayaraman, two MIT grads who have backgrounds in operations research and computer science. They began building Rickshaw, Bhat says, after she considered working on a startup that would require a fleet for deliveries. Rather than building such a fleet just for their own usage, or reaching out to others to rent capacity on their delivery fleets, the Rickshaw founders thought it made more sense for to work on solving the delivery problem for a bunch of different companies."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

YC Digest - 3/27-4/2

YC W15 at their last dinner (Photo credit: Pretty Instant)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 27-April 2, 2015
What Happens After Y Combinator: The Marathon After the Sprint (Fast Company)

Launches

Essays
The Magic Thread by Geoff Ralston

Neverfrost (YC S14) Wants To Kill Windshield Frost And Keep Rocks From Ruining Your Day

Neverfrost, a company that's been operating in stealth since the Summer 2014 batch, announced their product today in TechCrunch: 

"Neverfrost, a YC-backed company that has been working away quietly up in Waterloo for the past few years, wants to beef up your windshield’s ability to handle the stray rocks that may come its way — and while they’re at it, they want to end windshield frosting and help drivers save fuel by keeping their car’s interior cooler."

Read the full story in TechCrunch

YC Digest - March 20-26, 2015

Hello from the YC Team at Demo Day (photo credit: April Buchheit)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 20-26, 2015
The deadline to apply to YC S15 is tonight at 8pm PT!

Here Are The Companies That Presented At Y Combinator Demo Day 1 - TechCrunch

47 Startups That Launched At Y Combinator Winter 2015 Demo Day 2 - TechCrunch

Ebola Drugs, Prison Inmates, Real, Live Rockets: Y Combinator's New Launchpad - Fast Company

I Am Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator. AMA - Hacker News

Sam Altman: Why Hardware Could Yield the Next $10 Billion Startups - WSJ 

How Platzi (YC W15) bootstrapped its way into Y Combinator to build the future of education - TNW

A Look Inside Transcriptic’s (YC W15) New Biotech Testing Facility - TechCrunch

Launches
YC S14: Nightingale Launches Its Support Platform For Autism Therapy

YC W15: Pigeon.ly, A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator






YC W15: SmartHires Helps Startups Find Tech Talent Within The Same Investment Portfolio

YC W15: GiveMeTap Offers Free Water And Footfall Data For Stores, And It Helps Africa

YC W15: Introducing Priime - a new way to edit photos on your iPhone

YC W15: Kickpay Is A Marketplace For Invoices That Helps SMEs Get Paid Quickly

YC S14: uBiome Is Now Doing An Indiegogo Campaign To Check Out Dental Bacteria

YC W15: SlideMail Is An Intelligent Email App For The Rest Of Us 

Pigeon.ly (YC W15), A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator

YC welcomes Pigeon.ly to the Winter 2015 batch. Pigeon.ly is building a profitable new category of services for the 20M ppl with family in prison. Read more about Pigeon.ly on TechCrunch:

"Hutson says that 1 percent of the U.S. population has a loved one who is in prison, given the scale of the U.S. mass incarceration system. He estimates it’s a $2 billion market. If you look at competitors, Securus sold to a private equity firm in 2013 for about a half-billion dollars while JPay told CNBC it had $50 million in revenues last year.

While Pigeon.ly is definitely farther along in terms of product and growth than some of its peers in the YC program, Hutson said it was valuable to join the program anyway. YC partner Michael Seibel, who co-founded SocialCam and Justin.tv, heavily recruited Hutson and has been a big advocate for diversifying each batch of companies.

'Being a minority founder building a company, Y Combinator can help. You need to have the right affiliations. You need to be in the right circles. We looked at this as an opportunity to get access to investors and talent.'"


Listen to Planet Money's episode on Pigeon.ly: Episode 610 The Prisoner's Solution

    SmartSpot's Tale (YC W15): From A Farm In Egypt To Building A YC Computer Vision Startup For Fitness

    SmartSpot is launching out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC. SmartSpot makes a smart mirror for gyms that tracks your form as you work out and provides live correction. They help people improve their exercise form and prevent injury.

    The vast majority of gym-goers don’t know how to exercise properly and safely. Many quit after only a month because they don’t see improvement. Although personal training is one solution, at $80 an hour or more, personal trainers are out of reach for most people. SmartSpot's founders believe that personal training should be something anyone can afford.

    They have launched in 3 gyms in San Francisco where they've worked closely with early users to make a product that can become part of a routine for people with a variety of fitness goals.

    SmartSpot is founded by Moawia Eldeeb and Josh Augustin. 

    Read more about SmartSpot's story on TechCrunch:

    "Moawia Eldeeb grew up with his family on a village farm bordering the Nile, growing rice in the summers and vegetables in the winters. It was the way things had been for years, decades even.

    But when Eldeeb’s brother was born with a rare genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia, everything changed immediately. Because of the condition, Eldeeb’s infant brother couldn’t sweat. And given Egypt’s humid climate, this meant a certain and swift death.

    His father, who had been applying every year for a green card for the past 15 years, fortunately had won one in the lottery. Roughly two weeks after Eldeeb’s brother was born, they left everything they had ever known behind.

    Cribspot (YC W15) Helps University Students Find Rentals In Time For School To Start

    Cribspot launches out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC:  

    "Finding a decent apartment can be tough, which is why we’ve seen a recent increase in the number of startups that are aiming to serve a woefully underserved market. But finding an apartment when you’re a college student can be even tougher. Aimed squarely at the university market, a Y Combinator-backed startup called Cribspot hopes to alleviate at least some of the pain associated with finding rentals and sublets.

    Compared to the broader housing market, college rentals are unique in that many units are booked a semester or more in advance. Furthermore, even when listings are available, they can typically only be found on campus bulletin boards or by walking around a college town and looking for “for rent” signs. All of that can make it difficult for students to find housing, especially on short notice.

    Cribspot hopes to change that, by creating the most comprehensive search engine for apartments on or near university campuses. It’s doing that by collecting rental information from thousands of different sources and working directly with landlords who don’t have websites or other ways to find out about their apartments." 

    Read the full story on TechCrunch

    Razorpay (YC W15) Offers Stripe-Style Payments Focused Squarely On Indian E-Commerce Plays

    Razorpay launches out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC:

    "The rise of companies like FlipkartSnapdeal and Ola have put a spotlight on the e-commerce opportunity in India, where the growth of catchy businesses is being fuelled by consumer demand, improving Internet connectivity and generous VC funding. Now, a new startup called Razorpay — part of the current Y Combinator class — is hoping to ride that trend, by giving more startups and larger tech companies in the country the ability to make it easier to integrate payments into their services.

    Razorpay is not unlike Stripe — a YC alum itself — in that it provides a very simple interface and gateway for businesses that want to take payments for goods or services online. Using Razorpay’s APIs, a company can add payments with a few lines of code, and consumers can then pay using a credit card, a debit card or net-banking (online bank transfers, one popular payment option in India). What makes Razorpay special, however, is that it’s made by an Indian team and specifically for businesses that operate in India."

    Read the full story on TechCrunch

    HigherMe (YC W15) Promises A Smarter Approach To Applying For Retail Jobs And Other Hourly Work

    HigherMe launches out of the YC Winter 2015 batch: 

    "When you’re trying to find the right person for a job, résumés don’t always cut it.

    I suspect that’s true for many jobs, but Rob Hunter, co-founder of HigherMe (part of the current batch of startups incubated at Y Combinator), told me that it’s particularly true in retail jobs and other hourly positions — location, availability, and personality can be more important than the jobs you have or haven’t held in the past.

    That’s something Hunter himself saw when he owned multiple Marble Slab Creamery stores. He recalled hiring an early employee, Kendra, who — like most high schoolers — had an unimpressive résumé. After all, her experience on the soccer team and as a babysitter didn’t say much about her ice cream serving skills, and the typos didn’t help, either."

    Read the full story on TechCrunch