Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Y Combinator Unloads Massive New Batch of Start-Ups

The start-up incubator Y Combinator today is pushing out 63 new companies, its largest and most daunting class ever. Of them, 31 are presenting themselves on the record for investors and press at the newly embiggened Y Combinator headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

“We didn’t become less selective,” Y Combinator founder Paul Graham said of the latest class, his program’s thirteenth. “We funded three percent of the applicants just like we always do. It’s just a larger percentage of the total pool of start-ups is coming through Y Combinator.”

The other distinction is that Y Combinator didn’t let investors snag any participants early, as it previously has. Though some companies in the new class may have raised money already, they’re all still open to taking more funding, Graham said, revving up investors with the promise of discovering the next Airbnb or Dropbox (a.k.a. the Y Combinator all-time MVPs).

Here’s how the on-the-record start-ups describe themselves.

Aisle50: Groupon for groceries — the future of CPG promotions.

Interstate: Project management software that lets you share development roadmaps with customers.

MixRank: Competitive intelligence for online advertising.

Picplum: We automatically send premium photo prints for parents with young children. They send us their best photos, we print & send them to grandparents and family once a month.

Launchpad Toys: We’re building digital toys that empower kids to create, learn, and share their ideas with friends and family around the world — the Adobe Creative Suite for kids.

Interviewstreet: Interviewstreet helps companies hire the best programmers.

Debteye: Automated debt counseling.

DoubleRecall: A new captcha-like ad type that monetizes 12x better than banners.

Envolve: A customizable chat system for your website.

Quartzy: Life science labs spend $9BB (US) on consumables, yet they use Excel to manage inventory and orders. Quartzy provides free inventory and ordering software, aggregating demand and creating a marketplace.

Munch On Me: Daily deals for food.

Paperlinks: Paperlinks is the QR code infrastructure for businesses.

PageLever: Analytics that help businesses be more effective on Facebook. Customers include YouTube, MTV, etc.

MarketBrief: Marketbrief takes SEC filings and puts them through a system of humans and computers to create an easy to understand article containing all important information from the filing.

Snapjoy: Snapjoy stores and organizes the world’s photos.

Opez: Yelp for individual service professionals.

Bushido: Hosted ecosystem and app store for web apps.

Stypi: Stypi is Google Wave done right.

Proxino: Proxino is a cloud platform that makes it easy to debug and deploy JavaScript code.

MongoHQ: MongoHQ allows you to quickly and easily create MongoDB databases for use in your applications. We offer data hosting and management, performance monitoring, scaling and optimization.

ZigFu: ZigFu is an app store for motion control apps. Developers use our tools to create gesture-controlled user interfaces and full-body motion games.

Parse: Heroku for mobile — power your mobile apps with our cloud platform. Add a backend to your mobile app without servers.

Science Exchange: Science Exchange is an online marketplace for outsourcing science experiments. We’re improving the efficiency of scientific research by making it easy for scientists to access experimental expertise across research facilities.

Verbling: Connect language learners to native speakers for verbal practice through in-browser, real-time live video. If you’re learning Spanish, we’ll connect you to an Argentine who’s learning English, for example.

MobileWorks: MobileWorks is crowdsourcing, reinvented. Businesses can outsource work to our crowd in 3 clicks and developers can add human intelligence to their applications.

Vidyard: YouTube for Business.

Tagstand: NFC platform that makes it easy for developers and businesses to incorporate near field communication into their apps.

Kicksend: Realtime file sharing and delivery for friends and family.

Vimessa: Video voicemail — the ease of SMS with the magic of video.

Can’tWait!: We use trailers to get users to tell us what upcoming media releases they want to watch or buy, and then sell it to them when the media is released.

Codecademy: Codecademy is the easiest way to learn how to code. It’s interactive, fun, and you can do it with your friends.

Image via Flickr user Brian Auer.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik