The internal contradiction here should have set off
some alarms. Are the other 55 supposed to have made
it to profitability without raising any further money?
According to our records, 89 of 144 startups we funded up to this summer are still alive, for some definition of alive. When startups die, they usually die gradually, so it's hard to say when a startup is actually dead.
Some other mistakes I noticed: Nearly all cycles have the wrong number of startups. The furthest off is W07, which he lists has having had 15 startups but actually had 12. There have been two mergers, not one (Ninite is also a merger). YouOS didn't die; it morphed into Project Wedding, which was acquired.
8aweek didn't die either; that's now SocialBrowse.
Nambii and pocketfungames are the same company,
as were Boso and Auctomatic.
Chatterous, iJigg, and Ididwork are all still alive. There's at least one startup listed as active that has been acquired, but it may not be public knowledge.
I've never heard of Innovation Fuels.
It doesn't seem fair to accuse us of "lack of transparency." Every startup launches publicly when they're ready, after which we list them on our site. It wouldn't be appropriate to list them before they've launched (or more precisely, it would launch them). We're usually not supposed to disclose when they raise additional funding or get acquired. And we're not always sure till long after the fact when they die.
1) I marked a startup as closed if it's publicly declared as closed, if the founders now list their employer as someone else (on linkedin, HN, etc) or if there's been no activity in the six months. In the case where it seemed ambiguous I've marked it as unknown.
2) I'll need to check my notes, Innovation fuels I checked several sources which named it as a YC company as it seemed weird as it falls outside YC's normal investment categories. Removed now.
3) YouOs / WebShaka I should have spotted as WebShaka is listed as the creator of project wedding in several places. Boso / Auctomatic I was aware that the founding teams were the same, but thought they were two separately funded YC startups as several news articles referred to them as such.
4) Chatterous blog hasn't been updated since March, their front page has a 2008 copyright, and their "featured groups" on the homepage seem both static and dead. IJigg and ididwork I marked as dead as because their public blogs (blog.ijigg.com and www.ididwork.com/blog/) are returning technical errors which suggest abandonment.
5) Transparency-wise, it's understandable you don't chose to disclose outside investment/acquisitions. However the later generally become public sooner or later anyway. The list of YC's FAQ page doesn't seem to be complete (including the ones commented out in the source code), presumably because you remove ones which have closed ?. Also there's no disclosure in terms of how many companies YC funds but fail to launch.
But thanks for the feedback, one of the reasons for early disclosure of this list is so that I can get feedback and remove mistakes from the list.
If your taking "not updated" to mean "dead" your probably right; we were waiting to see how they would monetize and nothing seems to have appeared... so "in limbo" is probably a better bet.
Waiting for someone to write a blog on "zombie mode".
There was also a newspaper source which my google-fu can't locate right now, but presumably one of the two copied the mistake from the other.
WebShaka went on to work on Project Wedding; when that site was acquired, the founders and YC had an exit.
I thought "oh crap, I didn't know iJigg closed." Then I just looked at their site, which I guess he did not.
I can see how it would be really hard for an outsider to know some of those. I can't see why one would bother to try, at least publicly, to bring transparency to a private concern.