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Startups that launched at Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 2 (techcrunch.com)
193 points by pouwerkerk on Aug 24, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments

Is it just me or does anyone else think that many of the startups from Day 1 and Day 2 are well beyond the "seed" stage that YC claims to target? I get that YC is a perfect program to prepare a company for raising significant investment, so it makes perfect sense for the startups to join even at a later stage. Also derisks YCs investment on the standard terms (i.e. 7% of a later-stage company for 120k$ is a better deal than 7% for 120k$ at an entirely unproven company).

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.

Hey guys, I founded ohmygreen and here are my reasons for attending: 1) community of other high quality founders which leads to helpful friendships and discoveries of new ways of thought 2) yc is a forcing function, e.g., experimentation with new business models, focus on growth, etc 3) it makes everything easier (hiring, fundraising, etc) => every little edge helps 4) long term investment: who knows, I might start another company with someone I met at yc or invest in yc companies 5) additional customers we might not have had access to (easy to reach out to any yc company) 6) while we're not quite seed stage, we bootstrapped a couple years and I wanted to scale things faster in order to bring healthy and blissful living to more people

We were at a stage where yc wasn't necessary but a very helpful catalyst. I hope this is helpful, happy to answer more.

I think it is a no brainer given your reasoning but I think it is fair to say you would have done it without the cash investment. I think this is just a testament to how far yc has come from an incubator taking 7% and giving 20k (or was it even less?) to some unknown hacker types with a paper napkin prototype.

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.

I can say that it wasn't an easy decision, I had to mull it over a few times and talk to various advisors, alumni, and friends about it. In the end it was very worth it!

I think it's clear why you joined YC as it can be very beneficial to any company. The comment is questioning whether YC still remains to be a company focusing on the seed stage of investment. Nowadays it appears that a lot companies that go in have a business already in place and a significant amount of traction. This contrasts with YC's earlier companies in which many of them had only an idea or a prototype with no traction. Whether or not this is true I'm unsure of, but it definitely seems to be the overall perception of what YC has become.

I agree that there is a trend to accept some more later stage companies. While there are a few post seed companies, there are many in the batch that just started their company right before yc or a few months before, so that is still a theme. With a 100 companies every batch it is easier to have many more diverse companies represented.

This is a good question, and, as a YC founder presenting today, I can give an answer.

"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.

Surely you're exaggerating.

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.

Yes I have the same question too. The $120k for 7% is meant for seed stage startups where $120k is a Big Deal.

If you already have $800k revenue each month, what is the math behind giving up 7% of your company, permanently, for $120k?

In YC language a "startup" is not a business at the start of it's life, but rather a business that is focused on rapid, extraordinary growth. If you have $800k mrr but an intent and a plan to get to $800million mrr, you're running a startup. To that end, if giving 7% equity away to people who can aid you in making your business scale quickly to where you want to be, then it's a good idea to bring them onboard.

pg wrote about it a few years ago: http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html

You get the YC stamp of approval, which makes selling, recruiting, fundraising (everything, really) much easier. It's like asking why a genius would go to Harvard, when he can just teach himself everything.

To extend your Harvard example, yes the genius needs a stamp of approval from Harvard totally agree it's the best there is

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

If you are in the business of supplying startups with healthy snacks and a sales person came along and said hey I can bring you 620 new accounts for 7% would you take that deal? Now consider they sweeten the pot and say I'll also give you $120,000 up front; on top of that I bring connections to money guys; also connections to 1,000s of people who have already been where you are trying to go that are notoriously helpful; and I have a track record of touching things that turn to gold and while there are no guarantees the second you make this deal I guarantee you will get media coverage and every opportunity to succeed.

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.

exactly. a real genius wouldn't go to harvard. real geniuses don't need "stamps" of approval. fake geniuses do, and not to shit on Y Combinator startups, but these days they aren't that ground breaking. Though now there are more hardware startups, in terms of "app startups," every batch looks the same. The tech isn't that different from what was being done 3-4 years ago. Web app with a panel for a given industry, perhaps a marketplace. Rinse and repeat. That said, it is totally refreshing to see every industry appified, but coding-wise the vast majority aren't pushing the envelope. Let's just not pretend Y Combinator is at the cusp of application innovation like it was several years ago. Another way of putting it is: Y Combinator is more about "businesses" these day than technology.

Not sure your logic is correct here. Real geniuses go to Harvard all the time and they like stamps of approval just like anyone else. Why would a genius not want a stamp of approval? Why would a good company not want a stamp of approval? Leonardo Dicaprio doesn't NEED an academy award but he wants one. Albert Einstein doesn't need to publicize his theorems for the world to gush over how smart he is, but he does it anyway. Genius chess players don't NEED to win competitions, but they want to for the recognition.

What are you talking about? Real geniuses go to Harvard all the time (or to other elite educational institutions).

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.

I believe that the purpose of YC is to start new businesses. Starting a new business that successfully penetrates an existing market or creates a new market is extremely difficult. The new business brings something unique to the market. In YC's case that is usually technology. For example, if a company creates a website that brings new efficiencies to a market by applying the latest open source technology, that's a great boon to society and absolutely should be funded by YC, even if it isn't "cutting edge" in your definition.

hey thanks for the answer. I get what you mean, but the math still does not make sense.

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

What can you do with 7% that you would be better than getting into YC? The better valuation terms alone would be worth the 7%. Alumni network is priceless. Hiring becomes easier. Talent becomes greater.

Ya you're right I didn't do the exact math so I don't know what the numbers are.

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!

What you are saying basically, is that someone needs to disrupt YC itself. And this is true. Someone should host a "Day After Demo Day" and allow anyone who wanted to run the race without paying the entry fee to pitch to any interested VCs. I suspect it would be interesting (and it wouldn't kill YC, although it would change it).

For them real value may not be the money, they may wanted the advice that comes at a price of 7%.

> $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.

YC then has a financial incentive to help you succeed.

I think he's only making the point that it's relatively easy to bash out something that looks like a product, do a release on several online forums and have a 'startup'. It's quite something different to have built a business, that is now ready for hyper-growth; and that's probably where YC can help a great deal.

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?

Risk appetite is diminishing. The shit storm is just over the horizon.

Too soon. They are doing YC fellowship for a riskier profile.

I'm wondering the exact same thing. And also, I am wondering if all these companies that are clearly later than seed stage get the exact same offer of 7% for 120k. Is there somewhere in YC terms that says that is the only deal they offer to new companies, or are we to assume they potentially are recieving more diversified deals?

Legalist just makes me sad, but I guess there's nothing more American than suing for absolutely anything. It's like the founders were looking for a business model that was even more parasitic than patent squatting.

As a nomad, airfordable is the best of the bunch to me. It almost balances out the karma of Legalist.

You think their parasites because you don't trust the American judicial system. That is fair, but the fundamental nature of what Legalist does is actually quite good. Justice shouldn't be denied to someone just because they can't afford to afford the legal fees. Sure, lawyers can take clients on contingency, but they are often cash-poor because law school is expensive, so the rate of return needs to be much higher to justify the risk and delayed payment. Investors, on the other hand, lack the information necessary to judge whether or not a case has merits because they usually don't have the right background knowledge about the law or the domain of the case.

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.

Perhaps I'm just too cynical in my old age, this feels like at best it is about turning the legal system into a market opportunity, not seeking justice. At worst it can be a tool, as with the Thiel case, to profit off of exacting revenge. There is no market opportunity for investors to join in on a defense.

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.

Unless we decouple the market-based economy from society, in general, everything is a market opportunity, and technology (not Theil) is currently the best test of this point.

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.

This is fair, and I agree with your characterization of the American judicial system, but I don't think I'd have any of your concerns here in Canada. Justice needs an overhaul in the USA. As for Gawker, they should have suffered for what they did, but they shouldn't have gone completely bankrupt. The amount was way too high for what they did.

I knew someone would take the dim view of this startup. Though it is very easy to look at the other side of the coin, or $40B of liability that just washes under the bride because the damaged parties don't have access/can't afford a lawyer.

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."

"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"

Zero influence? Wasn't his $10m incredibly influential?

No, at any point "Hogan" could have settled his case instead of take it to trial. Thiel did not have any influence over litigation decisions (accept settlement vs go to trial), just as Legalist would have zero influence over litigation decisions.

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?

Quite simply, a bank would have done a risk analysis and quickly pushed for a settlement, whereas Thiel was motivate by hatred, and the kind of entitlement which comes from power and wealth. He was to happy to carry all the risk and let Hogan reap the rewards give the reward to Hulk out of pure hatred for Nick Denton. Decision makers at banks always report to somebody. Thiel knows that being a billionaire means that he doesn't have to justify his actions to anybody.

>a bank would have done a risk analysis and quickly pushed for a settlement

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.

Perhaps Thiel offered a minimum return on investment to Hogan? "If you win, you get 100% of a 9+ figure reward. If you lose, I give you $25m, either way we exact our revenge".

"We're definitely not Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan."

You are. Why not own it? Not all businesses need to smell like a bed of roses.

> 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).

Sanitation work like Septic is far more important than any cute software start-up, that's for sure. I think my last honest job was cleaning out chicken-stalls on a farm when I was 12.

What's really interesting about this batch (and previous two) is this new blend between digital and physical.

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.

The TechCrunch writers seem to have gotten the wrong chat platform under Meesho's description.

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.

In their pitch they said WhatsApp

Well spotted.

This is an awesome list, I find the drone defense an interesting one too. There have been reports of drones near Moffet being commandeered and then sent into the Bay. Seemed like it would invoke a lawsuit, but if law enforcement was doing that, I could see it working out.

> drone defense

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?

Drone defense is very interesting....but I find the concept of jamming/electronic spoofing/RF commandeering somewhat comical in this arena. (what ApolloShield seems to be doing)

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

> This is a physical threat (in the terrorist scenario) that needs to be dealt with kinetically.

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.

So then the terrorist coats their drone in foil, and instead you are blinding anybody who looks at the drone when you fire.

No, kinetic or nets is much better.

> So then the terrorist coats their drone in foil, and instead you are blinding anybody who looks at the drone when you fire.

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.

Drone deense/hijacking is a funny subject. Wonder how many weeks it'll take for people to write an autopilot-on-loss-of-signal for 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.

Endgame is not just signal, it's inputs like GPS. Also, without external inputs, it's damned difficult to keep a lock on your location. But... not impossible.

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.

At the very same time it is trivial to update the drones of today to use a secure mutual authentication mechanism which the "drone defender" cannot break into. So, even if there is a spectrum DoS (which might be illegal to do for anyone apart from law enforcement) its not that the defender will take over the drone.

This is a cat n mouse game where the drone creator always has an advantage.

Yeah, but GPS isn't a handshake, and most commodity drones rely on it. You can't take it over, but you can probably blind it.

It's been spoofable (and jamable) for some time...but serious PIA to do and a huge FCC no-no as it's tough to focus.


Do you really need GPS to tell the drone, "Remember your flight control inputs and reverse them on loss of signal?"

I'm sure it's not trivial, but drone defence based completely on signal interception seems straightforward to defeat.

Iran claims to have captured drones by spoofing the GPS.

There's a similar startup in our little accelerator here. Interesting space.

Flex sounded fairly interesting, but I wonder how they can sell without more review. I was expecting more standardized forms and language on their site than I got. The 'How it Works?' / 'Is it Safe' FAQs seems not nearly technical enough. No known expiration date, really? As a guy am I not meant to fully understand how the device works?

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.

I'm really confused about "RigPlenish". One, who the hell is taking 40 minutes to write their chart? Second, I fail to grasp they can create a meaningful patient record (a legal document providing critical insight into the patient's history) through automation. If they're trying to undermine the process of creating the patient record, they're doing a disservice to the patient and to future healthcare providers of that patient.

Hi, I am the co-founder of RigPlenish. Charting is only part of the paperwork involved. In addition, for charting we cannot compromise on the required information in order to get NEMSIS compliance. If you have more questions, happy to chat over email (nupur@rigplenish.com).

There's actually some interesting companies in this batch. Particularly the ones going after boring, but lucrative markets.

>Quero Education is an ed-tech startup out of Brazil that is promising to help solve under-enrollment issues at Brazilian universities. Contrary to what most of us would think, coming from schools challenged daily by a lack of professors and dormitories, enrollment at Brazilian schools would need to double to just match the number of available seats.

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.

Techcrunch did a nice interview with them, asking some of your same questions.

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).


The number of higher education institutions more than doubled in Brazil in the last decade.

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.

Sometimes you don't attend college because a) you are not ready (your high school preparation wasn't good, so you will likely fail), b) the costs are really high so you can't afford it. You start working on the side while you are in college, and after some months of struggling, you finally chose the job instead the education.

I am from Argentina, and this happens too.

> Oleg Rogynskyy and his team at People.ai want to help companies understand what sales teams are doing on a daily basis. People.ai integrates with calendars, phones, and emails and logs sales activity that leads to closing deals. The idea is that sales teams can track best practices from top performers and close more deals.

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.

Agree with this. I work in a place where the team's split into 4 quadrants, all looking at different areas of the marketplace (and different levels of interaction) - whilst best practice is shared between them, knowing that each quad will do different things and function in different ways is key to widening reach.

Interesting, when did Yahoo sell off the Jumpcut.com domain name?


Meesho caught my eye- but surely there is a typo in its description: "Over 50 million small businesses sell over WeChat in [India]"

There are only 50-70 million WeChat users outside of China in total - according to WeChat themselves. http://bit.ly/2bUmiBE

This is wrong - it is Whatsapp. This is just more of the quality proofreading we have come to love from Techcrunch.

Vetcove - my own knowledge says this is just another attempt to centralize. Vet care is too expensive and this doesn't address the cost

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.

Re Robby, I'm not sure towns can make very sensible rules until the things are tried out a bit to see if they cause problems.

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...

Vet care is not remotely expensive (compared to human medical care, which is completely outrageous). Vets are required to have the same amount of training as MDs (BS + 4yr DVM + Internship + Residency + optional further specialization training & fellowships), yet the starting salaries are in the $100k range. I'd argue that $3-5k for a major surgery is good value. The problem is insurance companies. By shifting the payer away from the consumer, prices over the past few years have started unpleasantly blowing up.

<Vet care is not remotely expensive

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 ]

That you guys are discussing veterinary care and insurance shows that you don't actually know what Vetcove does. They actually are a B2B marketplace for veterinary supplies used by vet clinics. Consumers don't use it at all, and it certainly has nothing to with pet insurance. It saves clinics a lot of money already.

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.

When I typed "centralize" I implied it was b2b. I wish you well.

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.

Huh? LookLive has gone bankrupt and was then partially bought, and know the new owners are like 'look what we built'.. And now its in YCombinator? Wtf?

I think UtilityScore has a promising business model in offering free residential energy guidance that is supported by the promotion of energy efficient products. I've been hoping to see something like this for a while.

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.

Can someone explain why their are so many startups concentrating on India? Is it in part due to the overall expansion of the internet and economy?

Relevant article from a couple of days ago: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/trend-tracking/The-Y-Comb...

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."

Large population, favorable demographics (entering its 'demographic surplus' phase), lots of untapped potential?

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.

> Solid educational system

My impression is the opposite, but maybe I'm misinformed ?

The system is heterogeneous, tracking wealth distribution inequality, but can be very good.

AFAIK, Y Combinator had a particular focus on international startups for this round, and India is an enticing emerging market.

My guess is that the market is getting crowded in developed countries. It's easier to find a simple solution for a large problem in a place with scarcity of good developers.

total 3 out of 92 is 3.2% of total.

GDP (PPP) of India vs United States (ppp) is 30%.


PPP is a kind of useless statistic for comparison, here. YC partners are looking for real-money returns.

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.

OneChronos is the most interesting to me reviewing their overview/FAQ of their technical approach. Somewhat reminds me of the Jim Simons/RenTec patents.

After skimming both techcrunch articles, it seems like there were more hardware startups on day 1.

Simple Pickup is in Y Combinator. Nice!

Ah I can't find them on the list! Where are they? It's awsome Simple Pickup is in YC!

Oh it's Jumpcut. Way to go! Goooooooo Jumpcut!!

Yo that photo of Jumpcut -- the guy in the photo does not look like Jesse at all. Bring back the real Jesse!

looks promising

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