I think 10 have so far done series A rounds, but there will probably be more of those in the future. Nearly all the rest are either funded by angels or (esp in the case of the most recent group) still raising money.
Edit: I forgot Parakey. So make that 7 got bought, and thus 15 must have died.
A ping out to all companies to report on their status might be the best way to go. Then you'd hear from those still living, which is how not to die, right? :)
But, I've noticed that most go back to what they were doing before because the raising of additional funds proved difficult or boring. I think the rejection process can also be really hard on folks, and very few startups get funded on their first try, so there's a lot of rejection. I believe that's the case with three of the companies that "died" from WFP07 (which are the only ones I know well enough to say anything about). One went back to contracting and building cool websites for indie rock bands and related companies, and another company sort of split off into different things...2/3 of them ended up working for other YC companies (one of which has since exited), while the third went back to writing (I think). The third company that "died" went back to school to do research, and presumably the grants needed to continue the work are easier to obtain for PhD students than investment for research-stage ideas that don't quite have a market and won't for another few years.
A company that can't raise money for an idea or implementation I judge to be bad shouldn't weight down my perception of raising money on a good idea.
Thanks for the info though.
A fuller picture would also involve the personalities of the founders. Judging potential future performance from an initial meeting is invaluable. I've been thinking a lot about this in preparation to start hiring.
It's normal for users not to like what you first launch with, and for investors to be lukewarm. (Investors are basically permanently lukewarm.) So the groups who give up usually are looking at about the same information as other groups who keep going and succeed. Most of the time it comes down to whether they see the glass as half full or half empty.
Didn't reddit "buy" infogami? Seems a little funny to count that as a sale ;-)
I think he quit more than got fired, but spun it off that way for the romanticism. It's funny how being fired can be romanticized :)
"Among the profitable startups, how many 'got the eyeballs first and monetized later' and how many went for the profit-first model?"
(latter was termed by grandpa comment as "DHH profitable")
I think most investors (YC included) are most interested in meteoric growth (or whatever path is going to lead most swiftly and reliably to a BIG liquidity event of some kind).
Going for a lifestyle business and eschewing investment rarely gets you there quickly (if at all).
I love Wufoo (and I'd certainly put them on the relatively short list of YC companies that I truly envy), but I think they are leaving some growth "on the table". I think 37s is, too. Not that there's anything wrong with that-- it's just not necessarily "investor-friendly".
[a histogram of growth rates]
[a histogram of round based success]
[a histogram of general margins] - burn vs. profit
[an aggregate timeline of all companies] - maybe something like this http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/02/23/movies/2008022...
And, of course, disclosing that data for private companies is probably unwise. All YC companies have competitors (if it's a good idea, somebody is already working on it or will be by the time you launch), and having the laundry aired in public is probably a bad idea. The ones who want to talk about aspects of their business, generally talk on their blogs.
example: (startup life expediency)
@month 0: 80 companies
@month 1: 80 companies
@month 36: 4 companies
example: (won a series A)
@month 0: 0 companies
@month 4: ~5 companies
@month 12: ~7 companies
a final comparative time line histogram could be made of variable percentages of YC companies vs. some measured goal so you could have histogram timelines of VC age vs. having angel funds, or YC vs. VC funds. or YC vs. liquidity, which might lead to the following example:
example:(YC age vs. liquidity)
@month 0: 0 companies
@month 12: 1% companies
@month 24: 5% companies
@month 36: 10% companies
@month 48: 10% companies
graphs like these could lead to some interesting metrics about the measurable success of going through the YC process. Its a great way to study groups and to begin the comparison between group 1 and group 2 or YC vs. non YC. It should help build a case that getting into YC might improve your chance of success by say 10% or 50%. A lot of what pg talks about is how he feels that YC will improve your chance of success by more than 6%. I think at this point pg could present a fairly empirical case to prove that. I sense that many of us believe that to be true, but I have talked to some ex-startup vets here in Wisconsin who are not so convinced and others that are. I just think it would be great data to think about.
I see what you did there. Nobody lives in Wisconsin.
Seriously, though, while I'm sure such metrics would be useful to someone, I don't think pg needs to convince people that YC provides value. YC gets hundreds (possibly even thousands) of applicants for every program. If you need a chart to prove to yourself that there's value in YC, go for it.
don't forget that we have 2 of the worlds largest financial processors, fiserv, and metavante. wisconsin is on a great path to take advantage of chicago's resources too. since 9/11 chicago has passed new york in trading value, and chicago is the 4th largest fiscal market in the world, with $460 billion in production value, where SF is 15th on that same list.
and don't forget our schools where UW Madison and UIUC take the 9th, and 6th position in CS school ranking. if only we had the risky VCs that the valley had, i suspect that many of the world largest computer companies would have stuck here in the midwest, near their alma mater.
also, do not discount our work ethic, one day we should eclipse the west coast in tech companies all together.
ps. who do you think will build the nanotech manufacturing economy too?
16 out of 80 is 20%, when you say "must have", does it mean once you gave them money you forgot about them, Or it simply means that 20% is acceptable?
obviously doesn't inlcude all 80.