Khosla Ventures has joined Y Combinator’s YC VC Program, reports Silicon Valley Business Journal. This new involvement by Khosla Ventures replaces Yuri Milner in YC VC. I mentioned Vinod Khosla this past November (Soylent Is A Nutritious Meal-Replacement Shake Mix And Experiment In Food Engineering By Startups). The addition of Khosla Ventures as an advisor offers some refreshing implications for YC startups.
Sustainability and information technology comprise the Khosla Ventures portfolio. Some of its investments already include such YC companies as Instacart and Quartzy. However, only recently has Y Combinator begun investing in life-sustaining startups like Watsi (crowdfunded medical treatments) and Rosa Labs (food engineering and maker of Soylent). Y Combinator is also now making charitable contributions to non-profit startups through its usual application process. Non-profits bring unique insight into bigger problems that need solving even if the non-profits themselves don’t provide any financial return. Khosla Ventures’ emphasis in working with “large problems that are amenable to technology solutions” give YC companies like Watsi and Rosa Labs the possibility of having greater global impact.
Refreshing, too, is Khosla Ventures’ focus on “assisting great entrepreneurs determined to build companies with lasting significance.” That’s in contrast to the increasingly popular “deal mentality” of acqui-hires and seeking an acquisition from the start. Maintain the Silicon Valley Vision is a guest post written by Vinod Khosla in the New York Times. Mr. Khosla argues that Silicon Valley has always created the greatest wealth through long-term persistence and visionaries that truly care about their work. And Vinod Khosla would be an authority on such matters, with more than thirty years of experience in Silicon Valley from co-founding Sun Microsystems to co-founding his own ventural capital firm.
YC VC Program is an $80k convertible note offered to every new Y Combinator investment. Each YC VC investment consists of $20k from four different investors that also serve as startup advisors. Current investors now include Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Maverick Capital, and Khosla Ventures.