With each successive round, Y Combinator frequently funds new markets of startups that solve existing problems for other YC companies and the greater startup ecosystem. I’ve recently been able to identify sixteen such companies in five new markets.
Logistics, shipping, and warehousing solutions are a relatively new market for Y Combinator. BufferBox, HD Trade Services, Instacart, and Keychain Logistics are all from YC S12. Swapbox is from YC W13. BufferBox, acquired by Google late last year, provided self-serve kiosks in public locations to have packages delivered. HD Trade Services makes software solutions for shipping, receiving, and tracking warehouse inventory. Instacart is a local one-hour delivery service for groceries and other common items, similar to ‘90s dot-com company Kozmo.com. Keychain Logistics creates a market between truckers and shippers, and also makes software for realtime tracking of delivery trucks. Swapbox, from this latest batch of YC W13, provides convenient locations to have packages delivered, essentially solving the same problem as BufferBox only without storage lockers.
Electronics design is another instance where YC is attempting to solve consistent problems in another market (devices, hardware, components (manufactured goods)). From YC W07, Octopart provides a search engine and price comparison for electronics parts manufacturers and distributors. In YC W11, W12, and W13, the companies Upverter, CircuitHub, and CircuitLab have each respectively been funded to simplify taking an electronics product from idea to reality. Upverter makes browser-based electronics design tools focused on collaboration and usability. CircuitHub offers a comprehensive parts library that integrates with electronics design software like Altium, EAGLE, OrCAD, and Allegro. CircuitLab makes a web-based schematics editor for sketching, simulating, and sharing circuit schematics.
Legal services are another new set of YC-funded solutions. Clerky, from YC S11, provides startup entrepreneurs with Y Combinator-quality company incorporation, complete with proper vesting, invention assignment, and governance frameworks. Wevorce is a YC W13 company that uses software to help couples go through divorce in an amicable way. Lawdingo, also in YC W13, connects people with attorneys for online legal consultations.
Charity and philanthropy are companies that attempt to do social good. Watsi.org is YC’s first (intentionally) non-profit organization, a 501(c)(3) company from YC W13 that manages an online peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform for users to fund life-changing medical treatments for underserved people in developing countries. Prizeo is a YC W13 startup that raises funds for charities by working with top celebrities and social media. Amicus, from YC S12, is a volunteer recruiting platform for non-profit cause-driven organizations.
Last, but certainly not least, agriculture and farming is a new market where YC has recently funded a company. FarmLogs is a Michigan-based company from YC W12 that makes farm management software that enables farmers to forecast and measure profits, track expenses, manage risk, and get informed all from one place. In January, I wrote that FarmLogs recently raised a million dollars in seed funding. In February, I wrote a detailed post about FarmLogs and its investors after FarmLogs was featured on Forbes.com. Agriculture is a global problem, so I think FarmLogs has a lot of potential.
There are at least 145 YC-funded companies that I have yet to sort into a product market. So expect more posts similar to this.