Essay


Reimagining B2B Commerce with Faire

We believe that new and upcoming B2B players now have the tools to overcome historical constraints, and that large B2B commerce aggregators will emerge over the next decade. At YC, we often look to Faire (YC W17) as a prime example of B2B aggregators that will emerge over the next few years. In this post, we’ll walk through Faire’s opportunity as a B2B marketplace for independent retailers and brands, and discuss what its success means for the future of B2B commerce companies.

Pinduoduo and The Rise of Social E-Commerce

Across the globe, as the novel coronavirus moves us from communal spaces into the confinement of our homes, our social experiences are forced to adapt. Beyond the social networks we already know and use, we are finding new ways to integrate social into our online lives. At Y Combinator, we are considering what this might mean for the future of e-commerce. For several years, we have had our eye on Pinduoduo as an interesting case study. But now, as China is recovering from the impact of COVID-19, Pinduoduo and their social-shopping approach is even better poised to fully capture the offline-to-online transition in commerce. The success of Pinduoduo in China suggests there is a huge opportunity for social commerce platforms to emerge in other regions.

The Cost of Preemptive Deals

We looked at 120 US Series A rounds from our portfolio over the past 18 months to see whether or not preemptive offers were generally more or less dilutive than process driven rounds. On average, founders taking preemptive offers are taking ~1.4% more dilution for less money.

“Angels,” Angels, and VCs

I’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of “angels” that aren’t actually angels. These investors are institutional funds (read, LP dollars), the details of which aren’t generally disclosed until the founder sees a strange entity name on the signature lines in the docs.

How Biotech Startup Funding Will Change in the Next 10 Years

I’ve noticed that raising money for a biotech or other life science company in 2019 looks a lot like raising money for a tech company 10 years ago. Since then, fundamental forces caused fundraising for tech companies to change dramatically. And I believe that they are going to change biotech fundraising very much the way they changed tech company fundraising.

How to Manage a Board

Anu Hariharan shares the collective wisdom of the YC community to help guide founders on best practices in managing a board––including running board meetings and overcoming board issues.

Don’t Over-Optimize Fundraising

Fundraising is never the deciding factor in the success of a company, founders should instead look to use a regret minimization function when fundraising. Essentially, they should get what they need, avoid doing stupid things, and move on.

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