Y Combinator pioneered a new model for funding startups. Their major innovations include funding companies in batches, giving standardized terms, and having weekly dinners that culminate in a demo day to a group of investors. The firm was originally funding startups in Cambridge, MA for their summer batch before moving both summer and winter batches to Mountain View, CA.
Y Combinator’s motto is "Make Something People Want". The program aims to focus the founders on further developing their product, team, and market, as well as refining their business model, achieving product/market fit, and scaling the startup into a high growth business.
The program culminates at Demo Day. An event where startups present their business to a selected audience of investors. As of 2016, Y Combinator had invested in ~940 companies including Dropbox, Airbnb, Coinbase, Stripe, Reddit, Zenefits, BuildZoom, Instacart, Twitch.tv, Machine Zone, Weebly, Paribus, and Chinese startup Raven Tech. Non-profit organizations can also participate in the main YC program.
Y Combinator also operates Hacker News, a social link sharing site where users can submit and share news. The front page consists of 30 links at a time, sorted via an algorithm that takes into account upvotes from the community. According to SimilarWeb, the site receives over 20 million visits per month.
The first would see the size of the standard deal for YC startups decline from $150,000 for 7% (roughly a $2.1 million post-money valuation) to $125,000 for the same equity (or roughly a $1.79 million post-money valuation).
Y Combinator is also imposing a ceiling on its pro rata investing rights. YC will only take pro rata up to 4% of a subsequent round's size, which is smaller than the 7% equity stake the accelerator typically takes. If Y Combinator holds less than a 4% stake in a company, it may exercise its pro rata right for the lesser percentage stake.
Y Combinator announced the change to the standard investment deal. YC increased their investment from $120K to $150K. The $150K investment for 7% will be made on a post-money cap SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity).
Previously, Y combinator had alternated between Cambridge, MA and Silicon Valley.
The phrase described in Paul Graham's Be Good post is still used as the Y combinator motto.
Ginkgo Bioworks is a biotechnology company using machine learning techniques and lab automation to engineer microorganisms as a service.
Zenefits is a human resources company. It provides a digital HR platform for small and medium businesses.
Momentus is a YC Summer 2018 batch company developing the in-space rockets powered by water plasma engines and based in Santa Clara, CA
Indee Labs focuses on the development of microfluidic vortex shedding for rapidly and efficiently transfecting human primary immune cells with negligible perturbation. The team is focused on developing its core technology for short turnaround chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) development and manufacturing.
A microventure capital firm and syndicate in California that focuses on seed and early stage investments.
Brex is a credit card company that issues corporate credit cards with no security deposit.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform and community for gamers.
3D printed building company funded by Y Combinator.
OpenDoor is a San Francisco-based real estate technology company offering virtual and streamlined real estate buying and selling founded in 2014 by Keith Rabois, Eric Wu, JD Ross and Ian Wong.
Payroll and benefits company. It participated in the W12 cohort of Y Combinator.
Aesthetic is a creative automation tool for digital marketers
Airbnb provides an online platform for listing, searching and booking rental accommodations.
Rigetti Quantum Computing is a quantum computing company that was founded by Chad Rigetti.
Stripe is a financial technology company providing software that allows businesses and individuals to make and receive online payments.
RethinkDB provides an open-source distributed NoSQL document-oriented database storing JSON documents and scaling data for applications.
Driverless truck company based in San Francisco, California.
A software company making a workplace email communication platform for remote and office work.
DoorDash is a food delivery company. It participated in the S13 cohort of Y Combinator.
UBiome was a biotechnology microbial genomics company based in San Francisco
Loom.ai is a technology startup company that creates 3D avatars from photographs.
A diagnostic DNA testing company using quantified biological data.
Associated investment funds
The Winter 2021 batch of companies that Y Combinator invested in.
The Winter 2020 batch of companies that Y Combinator invested in.
The Summer 2020 cohort of companies that Y Combinator invested in.
Batch of companies that participated in the Summer 2019 class of Y Combinator.
A listing of the companies in the W19 batch