Microbiome therapeutics, Photoshop for augmented reality, and cancer treatments were some of the ideas presented at Day 2 of startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 Demo Day. YC is increasingly using its massive class size (141 startups this time around) to fund especially risky frontier technology and biotech moonshots, while tempering the portfolio with more predictable enterprise companies.
Investors say that valuations for post-Demo Day raises have risen steeply recently. Some speculate that people who made a fortune on cryptocurrency are trying to invest their returns elsewhere, driving up demand for YC startups.
The accelerator still admits many international copycats of U.S. successes, and YC is also repeating itself a bit. The Podcast App pitched the exact same product and strategy as Breaker, which debuted at YC exactly a year ago. But there were plenty of ambitious and unique businesses unveiled today on the Mountain View Computer History Museum stage, and the room was — as always — packed with a who’s who of tech investors.
Check out our coverage of all 64 startups that launched on the record yesterday, plus our picks for the top 7 companies from yesterday. (Tomorrow morning we’ll have our favorites from today.)
Here are the 60+ startups that launched at YC’s Winter 2018 Demo Day 2:
Callisto is a sexual misconduct reporting software built for victims.
The company’s product works by asking people who are looking to report a perpetrator to give certain unique identifiers, like a LinkedIn profile or phone number. If two victims name the same perpetrator, they are put in touch with each other and then with with an “options counselor,” a lawyer who can give them options on how to proceed in handling the situation. The company says that victims that visit Callisto’s website are 5x more likely to take action. They’ve started by rolling out their product on college campuses and are now taking donation from investors to roll out the service to the startup community.
Bump is a peer-to-peer streetwear marketplace.
It’s the “eBay for Generation Z.” They’ve been rapidly building an online community, and achieved $25,000 revenue on $430,000 GMV already in the month of March. They claim to be profitable and also have a user community that’s engaged. Bump says that 600,000 messages are sent be users for every week. They believe they can eventually move beyond streetwear.
Read more about Bump on TechCrunch here.
The One Health Company
One Health wants to improve the treatment of canine cancer, using genomic testing and gene sequencing to improve diagnosis and the efficacy of treatments.
They are running currently 2 test pilots, where they’ve made $39,000 in about two weeks
Onederful is an API for dental insurance.
Onederful says dentists offices lose $6B in revenue per year due to insurance claim problems, and spend $3 billion a year on high friction claim verification. Onederful’s API integrates with 240 insurance providers to rapidly and reliably verify a patient’s insurance and make sure the dentist gets paid.
Onederful doesn’t have to sell dentist by dentist, and instead is developing partnerships with the top dentist software suites for distribution. It’s currently in 120 offices.
Anjuna protects applications running in the public cloud.
The company says that right now about 30 percent of workloads are in the public cloud, and their goal is to help migrate the other 70 percent. The startup is using its memory encryption technologies to protect applications while in use, at rest and in transit. The company claims it can keep them protected even if someone nefarious has root access to the host.
BioRender.io wants to standardize the “visual language of biology and the software to communicate it.”
They believe there’s a $11 billion market opportunity to eliminate “ugly science pictures. So far they’ve been working with 300 institutions, including SaaS businesses in the life science industries. Their work has also been featured in science journals.
Airship is building a feature flagging framework that lets small startups roll out products the same way the the big tech companies do.
While A/B testing startups generally tackle small content changes like different headlines, Airship is letting customers ship entirely different features to swaths of users so that companies are more informed about how their audiences will react to redesigns or updates.
Read more about Airship on TechCrunch here.
Gainful makes personalized protein shakes.
Most protein shakes are designed for and marketed to male jocks and body builders. Gainful has customers take a five minute health quiz, then get personalized shakes delivered. 80K people have taken the quiz, building a huge health data archive for the startup. It has 2700 customers, with over half of whom buy a bottle. Gainful is growing 85 percent monthly with $40K in sales in February, and it’s profitable on each customer’s first purchase. Eventually, Gainful could expand into sports drinks, meal replacements, and personalized fitness plans utilizing the data its competitors aren’t collecting.
Quantierra sources real estate investments for developers.
It uses their database and algorithms to determine what can be built, its value, and the probability of it selling. Taking a 1.5% cut of any property they help sell, They’ve made $141,000 in revenue in 3 months, and say they have $310,000 in signed term sheets.
BloomJoy wants to be the “associated press for lifestyle content.”
They create and syndicate the content that they claim is currently seeing five million weekly readers in just a few short weeks. So far, they work with 19,000 publishers and have been generating $25,000 per week in ad revenue. It’s a $5 billion market opportunity, they believe. The team has a media background and previously sold a startup for $18 million.
YouTeam lets you “rent” engineers who work at consulting firms but aren’t currently doing anything.
The company takes a 20% cut of each job. They say they’re currently making $55k in net revenue per month.
Substack is a subscription publishing platform.
Subscription payments free journalists from relying on clickbait and sensationalism to get clicks and ad views. Substack lets any publisher or individual instantly launch a subscription product. Substack has 7,000 subscribers paying an average of $70 per year, and it takes a 10 percent cut. Its top writer now earns $300K. Eventually Substack wants to turn subscriber bases into communities, and expand into podcasts and video. With Kik’s CTO and a former journalist on its founding team, Substack wants to bring back the journalism revenue that’s slipped away to the social networks.
For more on Substack, read TechCrunch’s coverage here.
HelloVerify is doing online instant background checks in India where the the government has recently announced it will begin digitizing all personal records.
The startup has lined itself up to be among the first to take advantage of this legislation. The company currently has $3 million in annual revenue and has closed $1 million in orders in the past 60 days. The company’s early customers include Accenture, Infosys and Cognizant.
Look After My Bills
Look After My Bills is for people who want “lower bills with less hassle.”
The UK-based startup claims it can save users $320 per year by helping them manage energy, cell phones and broadband bills, by helping them switch providers and optimize for saving. They make $60 in commission every time a user switches businesses and have generated $84,000 so far this month from its 4000 users.
Station wants to be the app store of software-as-a-service by becoming the web browser people use while at work.
It bakes workplace apps into a sidebar on the browser for easy access that doesn’t see you getting lost in endless tabs. It’s integrated 500 different SAAS applications, with users downloading an average of 12. Station now has 11K weekly active users who spend more than 4.5 hours a day in the app. Eventually it wants to sell opportunities for deeper integrations to the big SAAS companies, and promotional discovery of their apps.
Torch want to bring executive coaching to entire companies.
The startup uses video-based conferencing software to help coach managers on skills that can help that improve. Managers can log in, set goals and track progress in Torch’s analytics dashboard. Torch was founded by a former executive coach and a data scientist. The team says that the startup’s revenue has been growing 45 percent month-over-month.
Edwin uses AI to teach English.
They say they can teach English in ⅓ of the time, at a ⅓ of the cost. You communicate with Edwin via Facebook Messenger or a voice assistant; on Facebook, for example, they have already obtained 757,000 users.
Meitre aims to be “Opentable for the world’s top restaurants.”
Focusing on the “top 3%” of restaurants that don’t have trouble getting reservations, Meitre says that instead of paying Opentable, they’ve found 55 restaurants that will pay them to reduce no-shows, sell more tasting menus and move demand to off-peak hours. This can result in “hundreds of thousands of more revenue each year,” they claim. So far, they haven’t had any customers churn and hope to expand to the estimated 50,000 restaurants worldwide that need this.
Pathrise helps train students to get better jobs in exchange for a percentage of their future salary via an income sharing agreement.
University career counselors are outnumbered by students 2900 to 1 on average, and their offices are outdated. First it learns about the student and uses data to surface relevant job openings. Its training can improve students’ cold emailing of recruiters, resumes, interview skills, and salary negotiations. It expects to earn $5K per student it gets hired. Starting with the 750K software engineering students, Pathrise sees a $3.75 billion market, and plans to eventually expand into other job types. Students spend a ton on their education, they scramble to get a job to pay back loans. Path rise could help them better leverage their schooling and find the right job for them.
TrapFi pays freelance developers for contributing to projects as soon as their pull request is approved, rather than waiting for a monthly check.
They charge 1.5% of earnings made on the platform; in 2 weeks, they say they’ve picked up 500 users and generated $25,000 in transactions.
Sixfold designs nanoparticles for treating cancer and other diseases.
They claim to be able to deliver gene editing drugs developed in CRISPR in a way that targets diseased cells without impacting healthy cells. They’re currently testing their nanoparticles in mice.
Jido Maps is an AR startup that’s approaching the problem of persistence, or getting digital objects to stay affixed to the real world environment even when the sensors aren’t there to observe them.
The company calls itself a “save button” for AR, allowing users to place objects, save them and share that information with other users. After one month of beta, 59 companies are using the startup’s API and will soon deploy it to their combined 300k monthly active users.
Justin Kan, formerly of Justin.TV and Twitch, announced a “tech-enabled law firm for startups.” called Atrium.
He said that through his experience co-founding and investing in startups, he had “become an involuntary power user of corporate legal services.” Estimating that there is a $158 billion market for outside spend on law firms, Kan believes that Atrium’s software will help turn legal documents into data. He says that his services are being used to save clients from hourly billing fees for contracts, M&A, blockchain and other paperwork. Atrium “makes legal services fast, transparent with upfront pricing.”
LUS makes haircare products for curly hair.
After decades of media pressure for people to straighten their hair, the public is now embracing curly hair. But managing it can require tons of expensive products and time. LUS makes products for specific curliness levels for a range of ethnicities. It bootstrapped its way to $1 million in sales a year selling $17 products. Gross profit is 70 percent, and the company has $400K in the bank. Now it wants capital to scale up to dominate the $50 billion a year curly hair product market with a brand that stands for “Love Ur Self”.
Read more about LUS Brands on TechCrunch here.
ZBiotics has made a genetically engineered drink that it says can prevent your hangovers.
The startup’s engineered probiotics