Example: Ohmygreen claims it's a logistics company (which implies CapEx unless they rent, which eats margins) and already has 800k MRR. Doesn't quite fit my definition of "seed" stage.
We were at a stage where yc wasn't necessary but a very helpful catalyst. I hope this is helpful, happy to answer more.
YC is more of a "business club" than an incubator from some points of view, I don't blame either side and is probably the reason they are diversifying with various programs to ensure they aren't missing out on the unknown hacker with a paper napkin prototype.
"Seed" has shifted. In the early days of YC, you came in with an idea and tried to build something people want. Note that it is called "Demo Day", because you would literally demo your product.
Today, it's just so much easier to start a company. You can try out an idea in a weekend, so the 3-month program of YC is focused on growth. As you said, they are preparing companies to raise seed capital, and the bar for that has risen considerably.
You can create a toy program or even a very basic (most likely web-based application) that solves some problem in a weekend, but there really are very few lucrative companies or ideas that can be accurately "tried out" in a single weekend.
If these companies are "seed" stage companies, then I'd argue it isn't that any bar has been raised, but that "seed" has come to mean something entirely different.
Any company that has $800k MRR is (well) past seed-stage.
If you already have $800k revenue each month, what is the math behind giving up 7% of your company, permanently, for $120k?
pg wrote about it a few years ago: http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html
But if the genius already founded and is running a growing business at $800k MRR, then maybe she shouldn't pay the 7% entrance fee to get Harvard stamp of approval right
Stamp of approval is great. All I'm asking is, where is the line when cost/benefit makes sense. Can't be infinity right
I know personally asked to forego the Fellowship financial investment for a credit to Gigster to develop apps for my beta, of course that was ignored, but a deal I am sure any non-technical person would make any day of the week if they were serious about success.
Y Combinator has always been about business. That's the point of a startup: to build a successful business, not to build useless technology that no one wants.
For example, if you made $100 million MRR, then a "stamp of approval" for 7% is probably too much right.
I guess what I mean is, yes stamp of approval, alumni network etc. is great value, but at some point you kind of have to look at the math and say "well where do you draw the line". With 800k MRR already and growing, does it really make sense to give up 7% for stamp of approval
7% is a ton of equity, especially for a company that's already doing 800k MRR. You can do a lot with 7% equity of a company that has 800k MRR
For 7% of a 800k MRR fast-growing rocket, you can probably get multiple really veteran execs from your industry (healthy snacks in this case), each bringing on their own industry connections (e.g. to wholefoods etc).
800k MRR is 9.6million ARR, so even if you don't grow monthly, that's a lot of money. With that ARR you can probably raise much more than 120k with 7%. Every dollar counts in a startup
Maybe they did the math and it looks to be worth it. Or maybe when they joined YC they had $0 MRR and YC helped them get to 800k by graduation day. I can only guess with limited info from Techcrunch so my guess may not be accurate!
> $800,000 monthly recurring revenue, too. Ohmygreen does 700 deliveries every month, but at its core, it’s a logistics company,
> Snacks ($21 per month per person)
Its totally possible that the major chunk of their revenue comes from just Amazon. Hence they want to expand to small companies (also known as scaling problem) hence YC would be a good fit. Twitch, YC etc etc can now order from them.
I think seed stage is more loosely defined. Or can you only raise seed capital when you are 2 people hacking in a room on a web app?
As a nomad, airfordable is the best of the bunch to me. It almost balances out the karma of Legalist.
If Legalist were launching from, say, Canada or the EU I'm not so sure it would be so negatively received; and I would certainly want it to exist if I were a poor person with mercury poisoning.
The timing seems to be an opportunistic response to the Gawker lawsuit. Thiel has validated this sort of a marketplace, and being who he is, it's caught the attention of our opportunistic, objectivist start-up community.Of course the next step is to make this sort of market opportunity accessible to less wealthy investors. Version 2 will be crowdsourced for-profit lawsuits. 5,000 people each invest $2k in a lawsuit against Facebook and see a 1400% return in two years.
I feel that this is a direct result of Thiel validating this marketplace, so let me respond to your "If" argument with my own.
If Peter Thiel weren't a cult of personality type associated with our community, but rather he were the CEO of Fox News, Donald Trump, or Martin Shkreli, he would have been absolutely demonized in the HN! community.
We are going down a slippery slope that can use "might is right" to destroy competition, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech. You should see what this same mentality has done to the business world and to the press here in Türkiye.
Class-action lawsuits are already the protection of the poor against mercury poisoning, done on contingency by lawyers who stand to reap huge profits. Now this takes the risk away from the lawyers and turns that risk into a high profit opportunity for a smaller subset of investors.
So, we can work together with a diverse array of stakeholders (even the ones we deem less 'x') to effect societal change, or we can focus on myopic, circular debates that defend our comfort level. Our choice.
Shrkeli was defending the economic justification for the EpiPen price increase. He is probably the last person you want to align yourself with unless you concede to being nothing more than a market vulture - not sensible for the maker of the EpiPen. Yesterday/today, the maker is proposing greater efforts to ease the financial burden for those who can't afford it.
Greater access to resources within the legal system, i.e. SimpleCitizen.com, or Legalist, is better for society. If you think of society as an algorithm, it is beneficial to test the variety of available perspectives to determine which provides the greatest societal benefit (not just profit). I think this should be a priority as individuals and enterprises.
What if you had a parent, sibling, spouse suffer a serious injury, would you not help them financially if you could and they needed it? Would you refuse to be paid back out of their settlement, because that would be parasitic? You do realize it is against Legalist's, Thiel's or anyone else interest to support bad or worse false claims, because they can and will actually lose money right? I think for whatever reason, people like to believe the legal system is a a lot more dysfunctional than it truly is, example, that Thiel conjured up Hogan's lawsuit, that but for Thiel's money being involved there would be no damages, when the truth is Thiel provided financing and likely got an economic interest in the final judgment/settlement but he still had zero influence on the case itself.
It is on par with taking an extremist approach to doctors and medicine..."nothing more American than saving a life, as long as you have good insurance or can pay cash up front."
Zero influence? Wasn't his $10m incredibly influential?
Alternatively, besides speculation Thiel had influence, in the face of Rules of Professional Responsibility that would result in the disbarrment of "Hogan's" lawyers, explain the exact influence Thiel had that interfered with "Hogan's" attorney-client relationship. Specifically, how would the case have been any different if Thiel did not finance some or part of the litigation and how would it have been different if a bank, with no history with Gawker, financed some or all of the litigation?
That is exactly what is wrong with this whole line of thinking. Whether an unbiased bank or likely biased Thiel (in that case) neither would legally be allowed to dictate any of this, it is all between the litigant (Hogan) and his lawyer. Further, there would be no incentive to listen to either Thiel or a bank before ones own lawyer, $10M financing or not, one will not cut their nose of despite their face. In fact this is a fine example, if Hogan were to have accepted a quick settlement, instead of listening to his lawyers, it would have been the wrong choice as he received more at trial.
You are. Why not own it? Not all businesses need to smell like a bed of roses.
Exactly. I know a guy that literally runs a business that smells like shit. They pump septic tanks and he's doing great. There's a natural apprehension for competitors to enter a market like that, must be similar for things that figuratively smell like shit too (like this).
In the decade of the 2000s, the big companies that succeeded were all software/web in nature - with Google, FB, LNKD, TWTR, etc. you engaged with them solely on the screen and their revenues derived primarily from advertising and taking advantage of your eyeballs.
If you look at the new monopolies in the first half of this decade (ex. Uber, Airbnb, Palantir, etc.) they're bleeding into the physical world and providing value in a very tangible way (ex. literally moving you from point A to point B). It's no surprise that many of them are staying private for even longer; physical problems require human engagement and it's just a harder problem that requires more attention.
I believe a lot of startups, investors, and partners have subconsciously realized this and now see the potential that new technology has in impacting the physical world through digital portals and digital means. Expect this trend to continue.
Empirically I don't know of any friends in India using WeChat. Let alone selling products through it. WhatsApp, however, is omnipresent.
Just checked Meesho's website (http://meesho.com) It only lists WhatsApp as its supported platform.
The security world is very interested. Put an explosive on a drone and you've made a guided missile, a technology formerly reserved for militaries. How do you protect your troops, your field headquarters, or in peaceful scenarios, an event or a VIP such as the President?
This is a physical threat (in the terrorist scenario) that needs to be dealt with kinetically.
RF spoofing doesn't work for planed flights, GPS spoofing can work but reply attacks are wonky at best and most just will trigger a "go home" which is easily overridden to be the target.
Skywall (http://openworksengineering.com/skywall) type stuff is interesting, but very hard to get right...know a few folks in the field working on some cool stuff.
The passive whoops I'm a terrible drone pilot and flew my drone over moffet is fairly easy to deal with (betting we'll see some sort of drone tagging (RF)/mgmt system tied to the in-place registration very soon)...but not nearly as lucrative as true airspace security
/2cents from someone not in the field but interested in it
While I completely agree with you I'm curious if the pricing has come down on powerful lasers as I could see it being more economical to simply burn the rogue drones out of the sky. It would make re-targeting much faster and less of a need to keep kinetic...material on hand.
No, kinetic or nets is much better.
Many of the laser systems the military have been working with are not in the visual spectrum and foil would not simply reflect it. Otherwise the majority of our anti missile systems that use lasers would be thwarted by a simple foil coating.
> No, kinetic or nets is much better.
All depends on the goal. A quick burnout with a laser which has no reload time and can hit targets in a near instant is highly valuable in anti missile systems; I don't see why this couldn't be applied in an anti drone fashion as well. Kinetics will serve to obliterate which is better as far as falling debris goes; might be useful to have a combination of both in case you have to fend off a larger than expected amount of drones.
In fact that's sort of the endgame for drones. People don't control the drones, they tell them what to do/where to go. The autopilot figures out how to complete that task.
Counterpoint, which confirms your comment: I spoke with a drone designer (DoD contract, so I won't name his company) who said he won a Red Team exercise (quaint terminology, that) against the US Armed Forces by using superior fly-without-GPS algorithm to get through a GPS suppression countermeasure. So... yeah, it's a thing.
That said, trying to do dead reckoning from a series of noisy sensor measurements isn't easy. Bias drift, quantization roundoff error (which integrates to a random walk if you're sensing rate), and filter decoherence are all real issues.
This is a cat n mouse game where the drone creator always has an advantage.
I'm sure it's not trivial, but drone defence based completely on signal interception seems straightforward to defeat.
Obviously the 'Try it Free' should have a way to email your wife, right? Or are men not supposed to recommend feminine hygiene products to their wives? One for $3.95 (shipping cost) per address is a great marketing tactic.
Anyway, I get a kick out the fact this is a YC funded startup.
This is perplexing to me at first glance so hopefully someone from the country can shed some light on this issue. In the states, if anything, we've oversold the college education (and advanced degrees like law degrees) to the point where a great number of students are unable to attain the careers (implicitly) promised by these degrees. They are often crushed by a mountain of debt and struggle to pay it back over a lifetime. Prospective students have finally caught onto this (hooray Internet!), and many lower tier law schools are shutting down.
Brazil, according to this blurb, does not have this problem. In fact it has the opposite problem of not enough students? If this were the States I'd be quick to dismiss it as "the schools don't provide value to students, thus they are underenrolled, and they should shut down." But this is probably not the case -- are prospective students genuinely missing a great opportunity to educate themselves and set themselves up to greatly improve their lifetime earning potential? Would love to get a local perspective here.
These private colleges have a lot of government support through financial aid to poor/black/minorities attend a college. These colleges are profitable even with empty seats. Filling these empty seats for half of the price is awesome, but they won't crash without it. The company behind most of these colleges merged with another one this year and their stocks (KROT3 and ESTC3) are growing fast (50%+ this year).
I'm not an expert, but I think this was largely because of a government program called FIES, which finances private colleges and universities for students and the student will only pay the government a year after receiving the diploma. Payment is divided into very low portions. It is an excellent deal for the student and the educational institution. This program was greatly expanded in recent years and almost every student was able to receive funding.
With the crisis, the program suffered a major cut. I believe this will further increase the spaces not occupied.
I am from Argentina, and this happens too.
I'm all for taking human bias out of learning, but isn't there a great danger of cargo-culting a sales team based on this? Perhaps diversity is important to generate both long and short term growth, as well as the fact that there's a danger that if everyone is operating in a more similar manner that activity shifts from growth to a zero-sum game.
There are only 50-70 million WeChat users outside of China in total - according to WeChat themselves. http://bit.ly/2bUmiBE
Robby is directly in what I do. Although I can't see how it will work yet I believe certain things.
Towns need to declare whether robotic driverless "Vehicles" can exist on their taxpayers' roadways. Like cell towers, towns need to make rules before Robby or similar non-human machines are sharing common free (roadways) and private (houses and land) space with taxpayers.
Property owners are fickle.
Dogs are a significant obstacle.
I don't know much about Robby but listened to a talk by their competitor Starship and they seem to be doing ok. "Starship has been testing its six-wheeled bots across 40 cities since the end of last year, clocking up about 5,000 miles so far without incident"
Apparently dogs ignore them but kids can be an issue. They are mostly autonomous but can revert to remote control by a guy in the office who can radio "Oi! put me down!" etc. https://www.theengineer.co.uk/autonomous-delivery-robots-hit...
Kids chasing one https://www.facebook.com/starshiptech/videos/211423149213444...
Absolutely false if one has to worry about money. Insurance is a puny percentage at the practice I know and the hundreds of pet owners I chat with daily.
< $3-5k for a major surgery
That is a lot LOT of money in my mind. Remember this is your pet.
Usually the cost is sticker shock especially for Specialized Care and there is no alternative. People do not expect to have bills of $500, $1,000, $1,500 and more for routine things. [ The surgeon charges $8 a minute ]
A reminder that it's fun to comment from the armchair, but you should at least learn what the business actually is before you do.
The vet I know in the top 10 income (county level usa) thrives on markups.
When someone says costs are affordable for the average pet owner I have to speak up. So I assumed your startup would not have a large impact on downward prices since its b2b. In fact it may increase overall vet profit and do little for the average cost of a uti treatment, for example.
I commented because I have a direct interest in this business.
I'd like to share that the Department of Energy supports a suite of open source software tools that are useful in making these kinds of whole building energy predictions. Some of this may be applicable to the UtilityScore team in making more detailed and accurate predictions.
At the core is a simulation engine called EnergyPlus https://energyplus.net, and around that DOE also supports a middleware called OpenStudio https://www.openstudio.net that aids in assembling detailed and complex energy models more easily.
For commercial buildings there is an Asset Score tool very similar to UtilityScore built on top of OpenStudio. The asset score tool even has a web API. This tool stops short of making specific product recommendations as that is outside the domain of a publicly funded project like this.
EnergyPlus accessed through the conveniences of OpenStudio is becoming a shared platform for many different use cases beyond asset scoring. The large HVAC manufactures are using these tools as the foundation for their next generation equipment sizing tools, energy audit tools are leveraging OpenStudio for simulation http://www.simuwatt.com, utilities are beginning to coalesce around the platform for quantifying utility incentives http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2014/data/papers/5-603.pd..., and the state of California embedded this framework into the commercial energy code known as Title 24 http://bees.archenergy.com/software.html.
Full disclosure I am a National Renewable Energy Lab employee and principle developer of OpenStudio with a vested interest in the platform. That said I think there could be some synergy in leveraging OpenStudio models in the UtilityScore process. Our charter is to support commercial tools exactly like this while not directly competing.
A few snippets:
- "Once upon a time, bright graduates from top Indian colleges took up wellpaying jobs with MNCs or headed to the Ivy Leagues for higher education. That is passe. More and more of them now harbour startup dreams."
- "There is no doubt that India will be the fastest growing economy in the world for the next 10+ years. We will see many more $100M in revenue businesses being built in India"
- "The first startup we funded that focused on building for the Indian market was ClearTax in 2014. The Times of India wrote a story about ClearTax being in YC - and after that we started seeing more Indian founders applying to YC. The increase in Indian companies in YC is likely reflective of the fact that we're seeing more applications from India. After the US, India is the country that sends us the most applications."
Also: English-speaking, personal and professional ties to SV? Solid educational system, history of in-sourcing US-based IT and tech development?
Or maybe it's just a big love-fest for Narendra Modi. I have no idea.
My impression is the opposite, but maybe I'm misinformed ?
GDP (PPP) of India vs United States (ppp) is 30%.
That said, I'm bullish on India in the 10-20 year time table. Eventually it will be the most populous country in the world, and wealth will eventually track population. I think.
Yo that photo of Jumpcut -- the guy in the photo does not look like Jesse at all. Bring back the real Jesse!