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Combinator Startup Ideas

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A daily newsletter about startups, with stories and profiles, written by a team that includes 500-hour Y Combinator alum.

117

Y Combinator has funded a wide variety of companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, and Reddit.

114

The company is building a platform to help startups connect with investors and build a community of backers. The startup is working with Y Combinator and other investors to get more startups to pitch at YC.

102

The winners of the 2018 Y Combinator Demo Day will be announced on September 13, 2018.

90

In the summer of 2016, the Y Combinator Summer School launched a $100,000 scholarship for students who attend the program. The scholarship is awarded to graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds.

87

A Y Combinator alumnus that builds tools for SMB sales teams to build a better sales process.

86

 TinyDesk is an online service that lets remote workers have “a desk in their pocket”. This is a product that helps employers manage their remote workers’ desks, and allows employees to take their work with them. The startup is funded by Y Combinator and CRV.

86

This is a mobile application that helps entrepreneurs find, vet and manage teams. It was built by Y Combinator’s own team and is a set of tools that help founders navigate the startup ecosystem.

85

A company that helps companies and employees find relevant jobs. The startup provides a job posting platform to help people find jobs, and has raised $500,000 from investors including Y Combinator.

82

The 2017 batch was selected based on their work in the field, their potential to drive positive social impact, and their fit with Y Combinator’s mission. The following companies were selected:

81

A company that helps people get their taxes done on time. The startup, which is looking to launch in January, wants to eliminate audits for clients with simple returns but complex returns, and is getting help from Y Combinator.

80

A tool for people to hire employees remotely and manage their payroll for them. It’s currently in a private beta with some 50 employers, including Y Combinator.

80

Giving Demo Day startups advice can only go so far. So Y Combinator does a bit more to help startups. YC has created a forum for startup founders to share information and advice with one another. They also host “Ask-Me-Anything” sessions for founders to talk about their companies.

80

Founded in 2015, Y Combinator is a Silicon Valley-based startup incubator and seed fund. Y Combinator has invested in several companies that have gone on to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. It has also had several companies drop out of its program.

79

A tool for in-person recruiting events. The company claims to have 3,000 customers, including Y Combinator, and operates in over 50 countries.

78

In January 2018, Y Combinator announced that it was accepting applications for the 2018 batch. The 2018 batch is smaller than the 2017 batch, with only 25 companies accepted.

76

A marketing agency for companies that want to engage with their customers in new ways. The startup is currently in Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 batch.

75

A company that aims to connect B2B companies with service providers and allow people to view, request, and rate those service providers. They’ve raised $10 million in funding and are a Y Combinator alumni.

74

A startup that makes it possible for anyone to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a customer service call center without having to re-enter their information. The company has already secured funding from Y Combinator, AngelList, and Techstars.

73

A way of organizing a person's social life through a calendar. The startup is backed by Y Combinator, and the company is currently focused on the enterprise market, but plans to bring it to consumers soon.

72

This is a “Y Combinator for entrepreneurs”, where people can get feedback and advice from Y Combinator alumni.

72

The company has raised a total of $16.5 million from Allen & Company, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, DFJ Growth, Fidelity, SV Angel, and Y Combinator.

72

A messaging app, with a mobile web client to allow for SMS-based communication without a smartphone. The company is working on a browser-based client for non-mobile devices and has raised $3.5M in funding from Y Combinator.

72

SaaS business that connects women and their partners to maternity care. They’re headed to Y Combinator’s Demo Day.

70

A startup that helps people find the best deal on a car insurance policy. The founders say they’ve already signed up 20,000 users and have been accepted to Y Combinator.

68

These are companies that have raised money from Y Combinator, but haven’t yet launched on the platform.

67

A SaaS-based email marketing tool with an emphasis on design. The startup’s founders have raised nearly $500,000 in seed funding, including from Y Combinator, and have been named as YC’s top-ranked summer 2019 company.

66

In March 2017, Y Combinator moved its operations to the United Kingdom, becoming a British Limited Company.

66

Y Combinator’s newest batch of companies has expanded the YC Network to over 200 companies, including 50 who’ve raised a combined $325 million in capital.

64

A platform that makes it easy for companies to host virtual teams that work from different locations. The startup is working with Y Combinator-backed startup Galvanize.

62

In the summer of 2016, Y Combinator opened a office in London to focus on Europe. The office is headed by Laura Simpson, who previously worked at eBay, and has joined the Y Combinator London team. Y Combinator London is focused on advising and investing in European startups and is led by Stephen O’Grady, who previously worked at Twitter, Google, and Yahoo.

61

A product that helps users organize and find their files. The startup has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from investors including Y Combinator partner Ryan Dunn, and is now seeking to raise a Series A.

59

The following are the companies that Y Combinator has funded.

58

A tool that helps people evaluate their careers in a way that has real-time feedback from their managers. It’s currently used in early rounds at Y Combinator.

57

PlaceShare is a marketplace for sharing places, and is backed by Y Combinator. This startup is building a new payments system for sharing things.

57

A payments company that lets users of services like Stripe and PayPal process recurring payments like car insurance or mortgage payments in a few clicks. It has raised $2.9 million from investors including Y Combinator and is currently in private beta.

56

A company that helps companies find the right HVAC contractors. They currently have 5 employees, and live within Y Combinator.

54

In 2018 Y Combinator accepted a total of 250 companies.

53

The following companies were selected as semi-finalists in the 2014 Y Combinator Winter batch:

53

A Y Combinator alum is building a system to help companies build their own enterprise-grade mobile apps, saving them from having to build everything themselves.

51

A solution for small businesses that want to order in bulk and ship it out all at once. The business is backed by Y Combinator.

51

Ideabook is a blog that highlights the interesting startups, interesting ideas, and interesting people at Y Combinator.

50

Koku is a tool for people to build their own subscription-based service. Koku is meant to be a one-stop shop for all of a person’s subscription needs, with a toolset designed for ease of use. The startup is a Y Combinator company, and has over 200,000 users and is profitable.

48

This is an app that helps people practice the piano through video lessons and games. The company is part of the Y Combinator Winter 2016 batch.

47

A Y Combinator company that builds open-source components for the enterprise.

47

A product that helps people manage their digital content. The startup says they’ve been working with the Y Combinator alumni community since 2013 and has already helped them launch a number of products and services.

44

A weekly newsletter that covers Y Combinator startups.

42

A Y Combinator company that wants to make it easy for users and developers to integrate and track all of their different online services.

41

A startup building a new way to manage email and marketing efforts for companies. In May, the company raised $7 million in seed funding from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.

39

A startup that built an app that enables people to create custom messaging channels on WhatsApp. The startup, which has already raised funding from Y Combinator and other investors, is currently working with WhatsApp to enable its customers to sell premium products in their chat channels.

39

The Y Combinator summer school is a four-week program that teaches computer science fundamentals to top-tier high school students. The program was launched in 2010 by Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator.

38

A startup that helps small businesses in India build their websites, they were bootstrapped with seed funding from Y Combinator.

38

Some of these startups are still in Y Combinator, but most have graduated and launched.

38

The batch featured Y Combinator alumni and exits.

37

A Y Combinator company that wants to help students apply for loans and scholarships, helping them create a portfolio of their work.

36

Canvas is a Y Combinator company that creates “smart” pillows that “take advantage of the unique wireless signals from your body to automatically adjust your sleep position”.

36

A Y Combinator company that helps entrepreneurs build their business with video.

36

There are a few challenges that are unique to Y Combinator:

34

Y Combinator alum Dan Ellis and co-founder Andrew Conway came up with the idea to make an app that would help people use Microsoft Excel more efficiently. The startup, which has raised $1.3 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz , works with large companies to help them get their work into Excel faster.

34

A two-sided marketplace for ads, designed specifically for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and backed by Y Combinator. The platform will allow publishers and advertisers to sell digital advertising at an auction, then use smart contracts to facilitate payment.

34

The Y Combinator Summer 2019 batch had 56 companies, down 8 from the previous batch. This batch was the first to feature more only-female teams than male teams.

33

A travel-service platform that aims to help you book flights, hotels, car rentals, and tours with a single login. And it has over $2 million in funding from investors that included Y Combinator and Union Square Ventures.

32

A platform for building and selling online courses. The startup is a Y Combinator alum.

32

A group of young filmmakers with a collective vision to build a film studio from the ground up, and will use the Y Combinator seed money to hire a chief operating officer and other staff to help them do it.

32

A tool for helping employees review and edit their resumes and cover letters. The B2B startup is currently working with Y Combinator, and is focused on helping hiring managers.

31

The accelerator program, which uses the Y Combinator model, has graduated from YC more than 50 companies and has been called “the most successful startup incubator”.

31

Startups with a focus on the small business market are a regular feature of Y Combinator, and this one is a real game-changer. EnviroFinder collects data from multiple sources and makes it easy for businesses to see how they rank in their local market, then take that information and “re-market” it to their customers on websites they’ve built. The idea is to help entrepreneurs win at the local level in a way that doesn’t rely on expensive and time-consuming in-person events.

27

The startup is building a tool that helps people visualize and share data from video clips. The startup has raised $4.5 million to date, with most of that coming from Y Combinator.

27

A platform that connects contractors with clients as a way to bring more of the work to the people who do the work. They’re a Y Combinator alum.

25

Pitchbook, a media company that covers the venture industry, has released a list of the top Y Combinator companies to watch. It includes several companies from the summer batch, including the following:

25

The "Y Combinator Blog" is a blog that provides updates about YC companies along with news about YC itself and the startup community.

24

A Y Combinator alum, this startup wants to help online retail stores sell physical products.

23

A platform for recruiters to manage and find candidates from social networks. They charge companies by the number of applicants they get, and are already working with Y Combinator.

23

This startup is building a tool to automatically generate landing pages for your campaign. The startup is a Y Combinator alum, having raised a seed round in 2013.

22

Companies that have benefited from Y Combinator are focusing on the problems of the modern worker not because they’re trying to build the next Klout or IMVU, but because they think these problems will be solved by technology.

22

A startup that offers investors access to startups looking for funding. The company has raised $500,000 from investors such as Y Combinator, SV Angel, and Second Home Ventures.

17

Last year, I wrote about how some of the most successful Y Combinator companies are focused on solving the problems of the modern worker, like home care, transportation, and education. The most successful YC companies are built on the idea that technology should be helping workers, not fighting them.

13

Time has released a list of the top Y Combinator companies to watch, including five from the summer batch and seven from the winter batch.

8

A platform for trading cryptocurrencies. The company has raised $1.3 million from investors including Y Combinator, Foundation Capital and Founders Fund. The company has raised $2.2 million total.

3

Idea: A company that makes high-tech socks that help athletes recover from foot injuries The startup has $10,000 in monthly sales, counting Y Combinator itself as one of its customers

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Idea: A startup helping businesses in emerging markets manage inventory and orders using a mobile app and a desktop dashboard. The founders say they’ve already signed more than 50 customers in the past month (and have been accepted to Y Combinator,) and that the business has been profitable since it launched at the end of May.

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