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Past Startup Ideas

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Merkle is an AI-driven search engine that helps you find the best way to spend your money based on the things you’ve bought in the past. They’re based on a “Netflix for shopping” approach.


In the past year, the startup has raised $1.5 million. The company’s clients include Nestle and Samsung. The company’s platform allows companies to monitor and control their customers’ mobile data usage.


Helps small business owners find the right talent, like accountants, lawyers and consultants. Things like word-of-mouth, LinkedIn, past client referrals and referrals from the company’s own customers are used to get business owners to the right talent.


 A small startup backed by Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz is building a tool for pastors to share their sermons online.


A social network for remote companies that let’s you see what your colleagues are working on, see what they’ve been working on in the past, and share feedback.


A CRM for retailers that uses machine learning to predict consumer behavior and then recommend what products to sell based on their past purchases


In the past year, the startup has grown to have over 500 media outlets and over 1,000 reporters and editors, covering everything from sports to politics, and local to international. They’re aiming to grow that to 10,000 members and double the number of journalists that cover the news.


A real estate company that helps buyers find homes in the best neighborhoods, comparing homes to similar homes in the past.


A startup that uses the power of past sales information to predict returns on investments, helping investors make better financial decisions.


TechCrunch’s IPOs have been pretty good over the past decade. The 14 most recent IPOs have collectively brought in $2.4 billion as of April 2018, according to research from Pitchbook.


In the past year, there have been a few notable exits from Indian startups and their founders. Vani Kola, co-founder of Zomato, sold her company to local rival Swiggy for an estimated $50 million.


A startup that helps people track the money they’re spending online, including all their subscriptions and subscriptions to services like Netflix. The startup’s co-founder said it’s been profitable in the past year.


In the past, a person could get insurance through a company and then write off the cost of that insurance. With the advent of the individual market, many companies are no longer offering insurance because the rate they would have to charge is too low.


A way for businesses to track their e-commerce spend over the past 12 months, then see what they could have saved.


A SaaS platform that helps B2B companies figure out when their employees are most productive and when they are most likely to leave. The startup says that their clients have saved a net of $20 million over the past two years.


CEO and co-founder, Josh, is a self-proclaimed "Serial Entrepreneur." He's built startups in the past five years, including a few that were acquired by larger tech companies.


A solution for companies to streamline the billing process for their customers. Avastas has signed up 20 customers in the past month, including one of the 10 largest banks in the US.


A startup for on-demand car services in Singapore. The startup’s founder says he’s been offering the service with Uber for the past year and says it’s a $1 billion market in Singapore.


For the past two months, the startup has been building a platform that helps people find jobs, with a focus on the job seeker. The solution is built on an AI that scours through job listings, and a platform that allows job seekers to better manage their resumes.


This startup is building a new kind of network for startups, one that allows them to share their financial data, such as their expenses, with other investors. In the past six months, the startup has raised $3 million from investors.


A La Carte is a service that connects companies with independent contractors, and allows them to earn extra income via their own websites. They say that in the past few years they’ve signed up over 500 businesses in the Greater Boston area, earning over $2 million in additional revenue, and have scaled their operations to 3,800 independent contractors.


A game a la “Whack-a-mole” that’s designed to help people get out of their own way. It’s designed to help people get past their own limitations to help them focus on the things that matter most in their lives.


A startup that builds an e-commerce platform for the cannabis industry. The team has been operating in the Asian market for the past three years.


A live broadcast company for athletes and sports teams. The founders say they want to focus on live streams because of the way they’ve grown in the past few years. Their product is currently a free service, but the founders say they plan to add a paid service to compete with Facebook’s suite of sports and entertainment streams.


A tool for finding out how many people have downloaded your app, and how many have used it in the past week. The founders say that it’s been integrated into 75 different apps, and that they’ve seen a 20% increase in user retention and engagement once they started using it, with a 50% increase in revenue.


A startup that offers one of the few ways to sell tickets to online conferences, and tickets to events in the past year, with a 2.8% take rate.


A monthly subscription service for home laundry detergent that offers recommendations for how much to buy, when and how to use it. The startup has already sold more than $2 million in the past year from its first customers–with over 25,000 subscriptions.


An AI-based platform for marketers to create and distribute large-scale email campaigns at scale. The startup wants to help marketers copy and paste some of the work they do in traditional email marketing to email marketing automation.


Ideas is organized by YC staff and features the companies that have been accepted into the program. Past speakers include the founders of Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit.


A toolbox and SDK that helps web and mobile developers build mobile games, apps, and e-learning experiences. The company has about 1,300 customers building over 200 apps and games, with over 30 acquisitions in the past two years.


First Round Capital is one of the earliest and most successful seed stage investors, having backed over 100 companies in the past 15 years.


A startup that helps make buildings cool. In the past two years, it’s built a community of more than 60,000 people who have collectively built more than 100 buildings in more than 35 countries. The community is a nice complement to the three office buildings that are open to tenants in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.


A startup that helps small businesses find and train new employees. It’s sort of like a LinkedIn for small businesses. In the past year they’ve hired over 300 people through the job board, and have a waiting list for others.


A system that helps you figure out if a new product is a good fit for your business based on past purchases. It helps you identify the things you buy and where you buy them, then uses that information to make recommendations.


A startup that helps teams make decisions by using machine learning to predict the future based on past decisions.


A startup that lets you create a marketing video from past client work and then showcase it to potential hires.


In the past year, the startup has built an in-house production facility and is rolling out a new production line that will allow it to produce larger batches with less waste and lower costs.


In the past year, the startup has signed up over one million users and is now working on an enterprise version for larger companies.


We’ve covered many e-commerce startups in the past year, but this one is different. An e-commerce startup that is focused on helping people find the right products for their needs.


Everyone is doing it: Amazon, eBay, Walmart, then you have Home Depot and Lowe’s. But Meijer, a Midwest-based retailer that operates grocery stores and a number of other retail chains. Meijer is looking to use the e-commerce trend to stay ahead of its rivals and has begun selling products that haven’t been available in stores in the past, like wine and cheese.


This startup is building a tool for beer lovers to find, learn about and share reviews of craft beers. The startup has in the past month added beer reviews from a handful of beer experts and bloggers to its platform.


“From the outside, our team is probably the most diverse in the YC batch [of the past five years],” says cofounder Raman Harsh, an MIT alum. “There are no limits on race, ethnicity, religion, or gender.”


A startup that helps users register for local events, including concerts, art shows, meetups, and sports games. The startup is growing quickly, with over 30,000 events registered in the past year.


This software product, which connects people who suffer from chronic pain with doctors who can treat them, has its sights set on making chronic pain a thing of the past.


A marketing automation platform for B2B SaaS companies, touting a 1,500% growth rate in the past year.


A hardware company that makes it easier for people to possess and grow their own cannabis. They’re supplying this solution to dispensaries in Colorado, where Gov. John Hickenlooper has shown support for legal weed in the past. The company is already in business in Canada, and is looking at expansions into other states.


A content marketing platform that enables users to create content marketing campaigns. The startup has raised $1.4 million in funding in the past.


Has launched in the past year in the US, in areas in which cannabis has been legalized in the past year in states like Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, and California. The company’s founders say they can apply their technology to any state/state-regulated cannabis industry, and are already in business in the US.


A B2B software company that helps hardware manufacturers and distributors sell to retail stores. The company’s founders say that in the past year it’s already signed and closed on 125 deals and has more in the pipeline.


A startup that is building a “smart” brush to automate brushing. They have a patent on a brush that can recognize when a toothbrush runs out of toothpaste, and it can tell the user what toothpaste they’re running out of.


A workplace culture survey system. The startup is building a platform that helps recruiters recruit better by pulling together data from a variety of sources, including surveys, transparent reviews from past employers, and social media.


A video series that helps people make better decisions by evaluating their past behavior to predict what sort of decisions they’ll make in the future.


Tired of waiting for your toothpaste to dry PictureTec wants to eliminate that problem with a device that heats your toothpaste up to allow you to brush it out completely. The device has a small fan that heats up to just under boiling, which they say keeps the toothpaste from drying out too quickly.


While this is a new company, the founders’ past experience and work on other startups and products and their location in São Paulo, Brazil, makes it an interesting choice.


Idea: A company that wants to help businesses refine their hiring process by looking at past candidates. Specifically, they want to help companies discover talent in their town without having to go through the costly process of headhunting.


Idea: A platform for insurers to call and text patients regularly about their health and to encourage them to get physicals. The startup aims to be a replacement for the “wellness programs” that many insurers have offered in the past.


Idea: A startup built on the premise that traditional email newsletters are a relic of the past. The startup wants to bring the “chatbot”


Idea: A way to make blood transfusions a thing of the past. The startup is working on a nano-fluidic platform which can deliver stem cells to people who have a need for them.


Idea: A tool for helping companies and employees build their own internal chatrooms. The founder says that the product has been used by YC for the past few years, and is now being offered to other companies as well.


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.