Y Combinator startups have raised $7B with a $65B total valuation; 8 are $1B unicorns

The Y Combinator partners at the program's summer 2015 demo day

Y Combinator (YC) the Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator and seed fund, has answered some questions it says it gets asked a lot: What is the fundraising and valuation status of all startups that have come through its doors?

Launched in 2005 by Paul Graham, Trevor Blackwell Jessica Livingston, and Robert Morris, YC initially ran two programs — one in California, and one in Massachusetts. The latter of these closed in 2009.

Over the past 10 years, YC has funded and helped kickstart 940 startups, including Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Instacart, and Coinbase. Though many startups enter YC for the mentoring, the accelerator also invests $120,000 for 7 percent equity in the companies.

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Sam Altman, the Y Combinator president who replaced Paul Graham in 2014, has published some numbers that help demonstrate the role the accelerator has played in giving startups their big break. Though he is probably right when he says that “these are very imperfect indicators of success.”

Still, they make for an interesting read.

Though not included in the official dataset, Altman did take to Twitter to reveal that almost a third of the 940 companies it has funded have since closed.

Digging into the numbers, YC companies have raised $7 billion to date, with a combined total value of $65 billion. Eight of these companies are valued at more than $1 billion, which transports them into the much-coveted “unicorn” status, while 40 are valued at more than $100 million.

To have eight so-called “unicorns” out of a cohort of 940 is pretty impressive. And if you’re wondering what these companies are, well you’ll no doubt know most of them:


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Apple’s former CEO John Sculley unveils two sleek and cheap Android smartphones

Obi Worldphone SF1

Former Apple chief executive (1983-93) John Sculley caught the tech industry off-guard today when he revealed a pair of low-cost but sleek Android (uniquely-skinned, running Lollipop) smartphones.

The two phones, which bring to mind elements from Nokia’s Lumia devices and HTC’s polycarbonate unibody mid-range phones, are the result of a collaboration between Sculley and Robert Brunner’s Ammunition Group.

The Obi Worldphone SJ1.5 ($129) and SF1 ($199) are designed in San Fransisco, but expected to be initially launched outside the U.S. in emerging markets. This is likely in an attempt to steal some market share from players like Xiaomi and Huawei who have had so much success to date.

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Xiaomi and Huawei have already pushed past Apple to become the first and second largest phone makers in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market as of Q2. It’s unclear if Sculley will initially include China in his plans for emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East — but it would probably be a good idea.

If Obi Worldphone can take even a very marginal slice of market share in an emerging market like China, with its 250 million connected 4G mobile users as of July (on a total mobile user base of 1.29 billion), it would make for a strong start to the Obi line. Large but lesser explored markets like Indonesia will also be of interest. And then of course there’s India.

On the slightly more expensive SF1, the product description reads:

A floating high-resolution screen sets the tone for the power of surround sound and performance of professional camera equipment. With leading-edge processor and battery life, Obi Worldphone SF1 is built for living.

And on the cheaper SJ1.5:

You can recognise Obi Worldphone SJ1.5 from across the room. Quality materials, carefully applied splashes of color and extra sharp finishes show off your smart choice. An instantly recognisable shape breaks the mold. With a crisp, squared-off top and a curved bottom that gives it a distinctive look and feel, SJ1.5 is modern fun that never grows old.

Check out the official video below, or head on over to the Obi Worldphone and Ammunition Group websites to check out the full gallery of images (specs included at bottom):

SJ1.5 product specifications:

  • 3G
  • Polycarbonate unibody with curved touch display
  • Magnesium-Titantium Alloy chassis for added strength, 131g5” IPS with curved glass touch panel
  • HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 294 pip
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • MediaTek MT6580, 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor
  • 16GB Internal Storage + 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD up to 32 GB
  • Primary camera 8MP AF OV8865 with LED Flash (f/2.2 Aperture)
  • Rear-facing camera 5 MP
  • Dual Micro SIM
  • Micro USB v2.0
  • Embedded 3000 mAh Li-Po battery

SF1 product specifications:

  • 4G LTE
  • Unibody with metallic accents and floating glass display, 147g, 7.8mm thick
  • 5” JDI In-Cell IPS
  • Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels), 443 ppi
  • ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 1.5 GHz 64-bit Octa-core processor (Adreno 405 GPU)
  • 32GB Internal Storage + 3GB RAM or 16GB Internal Storage + 2GB RAM
  • MicroSD up to 64 GB
  • Rear camera 13MP AF with LED Flash (Sony Exmor IMX214 Sensor; f/2.0 Aperture)
  • Front-facing camera 5 MP with LED Flash
  • Dual SIM (Micro+Nano)
  • USBMicroUSB v2.0
  • Embedded 3000 mAh Li-Po battery with Quick Charge 1.0
More information:

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Education startup HotChalk in talks to raise new funding: sources

HotChalk, an educational technology startup, is in talks to raise at least $75 million from private investors, valuing the company at roughly $500 million to $800 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The company, which helps universities and colleges create online degree programs, has hired Citigroup Inc to assist with the fundraising, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Leaked render shows off Microsoft’s flagship Lumia phones for Windows 10 Mobile launch


Amazon apparently dumped its smartphone business, but Microsoft isn’t giving up on Lumia. A photo published today by prolific (oft-reliable) leaker Evan Blass appears to reveal two pretty sleek flagship devices:


Above: Credit: Evan Blass

Image Credit: Evan Blass


WMPU also spotted a second leaked image from a German podcast. It shows the Cityman phone with an accessory attached that is expected to support Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature, which lets you essentially connect your phone to a monitor and use it as a basic PC.


This isn’t the first time we’ve heard word of these two smartphones, codenamed Cityman and Talkman. We’ve seen leaks and rumors for months, and in July, the specifications trickled out a few times.

Talkman (the top phone in the above render), possibly called the Lumia 950, is expected to sport the following:

  • Matte White or black polycarbonate body
  • 5.2 inch WQHD (1440×2560) OLED display
  • Snapdragon 808, 64-bit Hexa core
  • Iris scanner (infrared) for Windows Hello
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot
  • 20MP PureView rear camera
  • 5MP Wide-angle front facing camera
  • 3000 mAh removable battery
  • Qi wireless charging with flip cover
  • USB Type-C

Cityman (the bottom phone in the above render), possibly called the Lumia 950 XL, is expected to be its larger and more powerful cousin:

  • Matte White or black polycarbonate body
  • 5.7 inch WQHD (1440×2560) OLED display
  • Snapdragon 810, 64-bit Octa core
  • Iris scanner (infrared) for Windows Hello
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot
  • 20MP PureView rear camera with triple LED flash
  • 1mm silver ring inside the circumference of the black camera pod
  • Aluminum side buttons
  • 5MP Wide-angle front facing camera
  • 3300 mAh removable battery
  • Qi wireless charging integrated
  • USB Type-C

Windows 10 Mobile is rumored to arrive by the end of this quarter. Both Microsoft phones are likely to be announced in either September or October, and will go on sale either in time for Windows 10 Mobile’s debut or soon after. Either way, Microsoft will want these devices ready for the holiday shopping season.