Odds and Ends 

These are the most successful companies to emerge from Y Combinator

The round was impressive for a couple of reasons: The founders are a pair of 22-year-olds that had set out to build a virtual reality company before pivoting to payments, and they had only completed Y Combinator, a well-known Silicon Valley startup accelerator, the year prior. Today, YC has released the latest list of its most successful companies since it began backing startups in 2005. Ranked by valuation and/or market cap, Brex, sure enough, is the youngest company to crack the top 20: Airbnb: An online travel community and room-sharing…

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Rappi raises $200M as Latin American tech investment reaches new highs

Rappi kicked off its business delivering beverages and has since expanded into meals, groceries and even tech and medicine. You can, for example, have a pair of AirPods delivered to you using Rappi’s app. The company also has a popular cash withdrawal feature that allows users to pay with credit cards and then receive cash from one of Rappi’s delivery agents. Simón Borrero, Sebastian Mejia and Felipe Villamarin launched the company in 2015, graduating from Y Combinator the following year. From there, Rappi quickly captured the attention of American venture…

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Odds and Ends 

uBiome is jumping into therapeutics with a healthy $83 million in Series C financing

23andMe, IBM and now uBiome is the next tech company to jump into the lucrative multi-billion dollar drug discovery market. The company started out with a consumer gut health test to check whether your intestines carry the right kind of bacteria for healthy digestion but has since expanded to include over 250,000 samples for everything from the microbes on your skin to vaginal health — the largest data set in the world for these types of samples, according to the company. Founder Jessica Richman now says there’s a wider opportunity…

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Odds and Ends 

YC-backed travel startup Duffel inks $4.7M round led by Blossom Capital, but stays coy on the details

A new London-based travel-industry startup is slowly coming out of stealth mode, but although it’s releasing it’s funding round, it’s keeping the actual product close to its chest. For now. Y Combinator -backed travel startup Duffel says it is working on “a new way to book travel online, aiming at the booking experience “end to end”. A hint at what this might mean is the fact that the team contains alumni from GoCardless and is objectively very experienced in the FinTech world. So far, that’s all we’re getting. But what…

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Headlines 

Y Combinator Learns Basic Income Is Not So Basic After All

In January 2016, technology incubator Y Combinator announced plans to fund a long-term study on giving people a guaranteed monthly income, in part to offset fears about jobs being destroyed by automation. “I’m fairly confident that at some point in the future, as technology continues to eliminate traditional jobs and massive new wealth gets created, we’re going to see some version of this at a national scale. So it would be good to answer some of the theoretical questions now,” Y Combinator president Sam Altman wrote in a blog post…

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Odds and Ends 

Konsus looks to give companies a way to get specially designed documents in under a day

Fredrik Thomassen as a consultant used to have the resources to offload the annoying project tasks — like making PowerPoint presentations — but now that it’s gone, he and his team wanted to make that available for everyone. Now the startup, called Konsus, wants to turn that around even faster. Konsus is a design marketplace where companies can quickly post design projects that they need for various parts of their jobs, like presentations, and designers can pick up those jobs and submit their work back — a task that could…

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Odds and Ends 

Escher Reality is building the backend for cross-platform mobile AR

The potential of mobile augmented reality is clear. Last summer Pokemon Go gave a glimpse of just how big this craze could be, as thousands of excited humans converged on parks, bus stops and other locations around the world to chase virtual monsters through the lens of their smartphones. Apple was also watching. And this summer the company signaled its own conviction in the technology by announcing ARKit: a developer toolkit to support iOS developers to build augmented reality apps. CEO Tim Cook said iOS will become the worlds biggest…

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Odds and Ends 

Quora for cancer startup theMednet raises $1.3 million in seed funding

TheMednet launched out of Y Combinator earlier this year to bring physicians a sophisticated platform for finding the best in treatment research, starting with cancer. Ithas now raised $1.3 million in seed funding to help it reach even more of those physicians. The funding comes from Endure Capital, Lumia Capital, The Hope Foundation, The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and a bunch of angel investors, including Quoras Charlie Cheever, Scribds Jared Friedman, YC partner Paul Buchheit, Peter He and Sciences Peter Pham. Co-founders Nadine Housri, a radiation oncologist, and…

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Odds and Ends 

Open Listings raised $6.5M to help you buy a home without an annoying agent

Open Listings, the YC-backed startup that lets buyers purchase homes and get a 50% refund on whatever fee their real estate agent would normally make, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners.Initialized Capital and Arena ventures also participated as new investors. As a refresher, Open Listings is an end-to-end real estate platform for buyers meaning you can find a listing, book private showings, make an offer and complete all the necessary paperwork prior to sale. So how does Open Listings do these things without needing an…

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Odds and Ends 

Why SAFE notes are not safe for entrepreneurs

Andrew Krowne Contributor Andrew Krowne is a principal at Levensohn Venture Partners and Dolby Family Ventures. The shortcomings ofSAFE notes(simple agreement for future equity)are coming home to roost; ironically, entrepreneurs are paying the price. Y Combinator invented the notes with a noble goal: we intend the SAFE to remain fair to both investors and founders. But many SAFE notes that entrepreneurs are quick to issue now have a nasty bite: much more dilution than the issuers thought when they signed those documents. Since the SAFE was created in 2013, many…

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Odds and Ends 

YC-backed Vidcode raises $1.5M to teach teens to code using Snapchat filters, videos, memes and more

Vidcode, a Y Combinator-backed startup focused on teaching teens how to code, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for its curriculum. While there are a number of learn-to-code platforms out there today, Vidcodes approach is to make coding more interesting to teens by connecting it to their existing interests like Snapchat filters and memes while also allowing young coders to leverage their own photos, videos and audio in their projects. Last summer, for example, the company launched a Snapchat geofilter contest which saw over 10,000 entries, and the winner…

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Odds and Ends 

Solve escorts you through the airport like a VIP

The walk sprintfrom your arrival gate to customs is no fun. As a traveler you usually have no idea how long the customs line is going to be, and you could end up being stuck waiting for hours depending on the airport and time of day. But now theres an (easily accessible) solution. Meet Solve, the startup that finds you a concierge to meet you at your arrival gate and escort you through the airport, through customs and to your waiting car. Part of Y Combinators Summer 2017 class, Solve…

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Odds and Ends 

Headstart wants to better analyze candidates to fit them with the best jobs

Nicholas Shekerdemian has a pretty typical startup story: he dropped out of college, met up with a technical co-founder and then ended up starting a company. ButShekerdemian, who at the time was helping match English teachers with Chinese citizens, wanted to start a company that would solve his own problem: actually getting a job at a cookie cutter company where everyone else applies. So he started a company calledHeadstart, which is geared toward fitting the right candidates with the right jobs and cutting down on all that needless hold-ups that…

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Odds and Ends 

YC-backed Py is a Duolingo style learn-to-code app

Teaching people to code in bite-sized, gamified chunks delivered via mobile app is Pys mission. The fledgling startup is the brainchild of two friends and college computer science majors who found themselves repeatedly asked for advice on how to learn to code. Lots of people asked us how should we learn to program or what resources should we use, explains co-founder Derek Lo. We would give people different resources and we would find out they wouldnt really complete anything. And they would find it too hard or not fun. Or…

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Odds and Ends 

Riley raises $3.1M to help real estate agents rate and respond to their leads

Businesses usuallyspend lots of time and money trying ofattract potential customers. Now a startup called When the real estate agent wakes up in the morning, theyll know which hot lead they should focus on, versus the nine other cold leads that came in the middle ofthe night, Ahmadizadeh said. Rileys funding comes from YC, FundersClub, Social Capital, Fuel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Liquid 2 Ventures, Rough Draft Ventures and

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