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Y Combinator

Y Combinator

Y Combinator (also known as YC) is a US based seed accelerator, which was started in March 2005.

Y Combinator was started in 2005 by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Trevor Blackwell and Robert Tappan Morris.

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.

Portfolio companies

Company
Cohort
Founders

YC S17

YC W15

YC W08

YC W14

YC W12

YC W13

80000 Hours

YC S15

YC S12

Abacus

YC W14

YC W11

YC S10

YC S09

YC S17

YC S10

YC W18

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Timeline

June 26, 2020
Y Combinator adjusts standard deal terms for its Winter 2021 batch and beyond

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.

September 28, 2018
New Standard Deal - post-money SAFE

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).

April 22, 2014
The New Deal

Sam Altman announces a new standard YC investment of $120k for 7% equity in the company. This replaced the previous standard of $97k ($17K for 7% along with an $80k safe note converted at next raise.

April 22, 2014
Board of Overseers announced

Included are Brian Chesky, Adora Cheung, John Collison, Patrick Collison, Drew Houston, Jessica Livingston, David Rusenko, Emmett Shear, and Sam Altman. All board members are either former YC graduates or founders.

February 21, 2014
Sam Altman announced as next president of Y Combinator

Taking over for Paul Graham, who had lead Y Combinator for nine years, Sam Altman is announced as the next president of Y combinator.

September 1, 2010
Alexis Ohanian joins

Previously cofounder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian joins Y Combinator as a partner and ambassador to the East.

March 16, 2009
Sequoia Capital leads $2m investment in Y Combinator managed fund

Sequoia Capital and angel investors Ron Conway, Paul Buchheit, and Aydin Senkut invest in a YC managed fund intended to increase the startups YC invests in.

January 1, 2009
Y Combinator moves to Silicon Valley year round

Previously, Y combinator had alternated between Cambridge, MA and Silicon Valley.

April 11, 2005
"Make Something People Want" motto adopted

The phrase described in Paul Graham's Be Good post is still used as the Y combinator motto.

March 11, 2005
Founded

Founded March 11, 2005, in Cambridge, MA by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Robert Morris and Trevor Blackwell.

Products

Associated investment funds

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Aaron Harris

Partner

Adora Cheung

Partner

Amy Buechler

Employee

Brad Lightcap

Employee

Brett Gibson

Employee

Craig Cannon

Employee

Dalton Caldwell

Daniel Gross

Employee

Denis Mars

Employee

Diego Rey

Employee

Elizabeth Iorns

Employee

Emmett Shear

Employee

Eric Migicovsky

Employee

Finbarr Taylor

Employee

Garry Tan

Employee

Geoff Ralston

Partner

gia scinto

Employee

Gustaf Alstromer

Harj Taggar

Employee

Ilya Sukhar

Employee

Irina Lukashuk

Employee

Jared Friedman

Jason Kwon

Attorney

Jessica Livingston

Founder

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Further reading

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Author
Link
Type
Date

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

References

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