Y Combinator: The world's most prestigious start-up school
Y Combinator, based in California is a start-up accelerator. Twice every year, a small investment is made in dozens of start-ups who then move to Silicon Valley for 3 months where their business ideas and pitches are refined under the close watch of the Y Combinator's partners. Let's take a look at some fascinating start-ups that were recently launched at the Y Combinator.
Amberbox: Safety sensors that detect gunshots
Amberbox's 'gunshot detection' feature will allow it to pinpoint active shooters, in addition to being able to detect fires. The devices would cumulatively create a network large enough to send out warnings and notifications to appropriate authorities and facilitate lock-down of campuses. Amberbox has opted for a subscription model and each device costs $50 per month. The existing market is estimated at $26 billion.
JumpCut: Is it an online course or a movie?
The online education sector is in explosion mode but its weakest link is 'poor retention rates' due to boring content. JumpCut's CEO and their team wants to create "Spielberg-like" online courses. These would include videos on how to network and to ameliorate social media skills. JumpCut has $85,000 in monthly recurring revenue and a subscription model of $17 per month.
Mentat: Need a job? Leave it to Mentat!
Targeted at young job seekers who are overwhelmed by networks across complex organizations, Mentat will automate resume views, submissions of application and interview scheduling. Mentat's revenue growth has been seeing a 40% up tick week after week and hit $70,000 in revenue last month. In collaboration with the City University of New York, a paid pilot will be launched by end of 2016.
Flex: Tampons on subscription
Flex has introduced a tampon replacement service via a subscription model. Traditional tampons can cause infections and are messy. The disposable product can be comfortably worn for straight 12 hours and is described as "non-invasive". Flex has sold $70,000 worth of tampons through pre-orders and boasts of a 70 percent margin. Women will soon be able to buy them for $20 per month.
Exponent: Android and iOS from the same code
Legalist: A new asset class
'Algorithmic litigation financing' is a new asset class and it's in litigation. Investors cover the cost of litigation in exchange for a share in the outcome of the dispute. For this year itself, the market is estimated at $3 billion according to Legalist's CEO. Legalist, with algorithmic risk assessment gleans data back to 1989 and uses 58 variables to determine the case's outcome.
Indian Startups at Y Combinator
Innov8 is building coworking spaces for India with two centres already in use with 100 percent occupancy. Co-working in India is gaining popularity because it offers reliable infrastructure at shared costs. Meesho is an e-commerce platform for small businesses adapted for WeChat. Over 50 million Indian businesses sell over WeChat; using Meesho has led to a 30 percent increase in sales within a month.