Y Combinator’s Demo Day was a bit different this time around.
As concerns grew over the spread of COVID-19, Y Combinator shifted the event format away from the two-day gathering in San Francisco we’ve gotten used to, instead opting to have its entire class debut to invited investors and media via YC’s Demo Day website simultaneously.
In a bit of a surprise twist, YC also moved Demo Day forward one week citing accelerated pacing from investors. Alas, this meant switching up its plan for each company to have a recorded pitch on the Demo Day website; instead, each company pitched via slides, a few paragraphs outlining what they’re doing and the traction they’re seeing, and team bios. It’s unclear so far how this new format — in combination with the rapidly evolving investment climate — will impact this class.
As we do with each class, we’ve collected our notes on each company based on information gathered from their pitches, websites, and, in some cases, our earlier coverage of them.
To make things a bit easier to read, we’ve split things up by category rather than have it be one huge wall of text. These are the companies that primarily focus on selling goods or services to consumers. You can find the other categories (such as hardware, AI, and fintech) here.
Apartio: Apartio offers long and short-term rentals to business travelers in Brazil. The company plans to target businesses with employees coming through Brazil, acquiring travelers directly on Airbnb and Booking.com.
Valienta: Valienta is a software that wants to simplify the process of direct selling networks in Latin American countries. Direct selling accounts for $27 billion worth of goods – making it a massive opportunity in Latin America. The 13 million direct sellers are mostly women who resell to personal networks, like the Avon woman in the U.S. Valienta wants to modernize this process with a single app.
Trustle: When a child stops sleeping through the night or starts having tantrums, parenting can feel like they’re flying blind. Trustle is a $50 per month subscription for parents that gives them access to a dedicated parenting and child development expert. The founders think the internet has created too much conflicting advice and opinions for parents, resulting in frantic Googling that doesn’t lead to good advice. Trustle actually wants to solve another problem: there are 180,000 preschools teachers with a masters in child development being paid on average $35K a year, representing an incredibly underutilized and undervalued pool of expertise. Trustle wants to connect the two with its system for parents to learn about and act on their child’s cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral development. The founding team includes the former head of impact at Google for Education, a clinical child psychologist and a former EdTech startup founder.
Viya: Viya is a mobile-first, apartment-rental system for the Latin America market. The company offers city center room and apartment leases in conjunction with cleaning, maintenance and laundry services, meant to simplify the life of tenants.
Jamiphy: Jamiphy’s pitch is simple: TikTok for musicians. With the shutdown of live events all over the world, the startup certainly has a potential market, providing musicians a place to host short music videos live. The company launched in Indonesia earlier this month.
Breezeful: Uses machine learning to find the best home mortgages in your area, with the company negotiating with lenders on your behalf — and, ultimately, earning a finders fee from lenders when a deal is closed. They’ve made $7K in revenue since launching 9 weeks ago.
Modern Village: Wants to be the “Chief of Staff” for busy families, charging $30 per month to help handle things like childcare, cleaners, grocery and meal planning, etc. The company estimates that it can save parents around 10 hours per week. Currently in private beta.
LegionFarm: Esports Coaching. Legionfarm charges customers an hourly rate to team them up with top tier/pro players who can coach them in games like Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and Fortnite. The company says that in the last year alone it’s facilitated over 350,000 hours of coaching (with players paying an average of about $16 per hour) with an ARR of $7.2 million. We wrote about Legionfarm previously here.
StayQrious: Online group classes (beginning with coding class) meant for kids in India from age 8-15. The company says it’s seeing 90% student retention since launching three months ago.
Yukstay: A platform meant to increase long-term rentals in Indonesia, providing tools for rental agents to onboard new units and for customers to view/book them. The company says it expects to do $170K in gross revenue in March.
Refund Giant: Helps visitors to the UK reclaim VAT taxes that they’re able to — but often don’t — get refunded when they leave. Users upload pictures of their receipts and RefundGiant handles all the paperwork, taking a 25% cut of any refund.
Sayana: A subscription-based mental wellness app that uses a chatbot-like interface to help users track their feelings while offering mindfulness tips. Currently seeing around $15,000 in monthly revenue, with 25% month-over-month growth.
HelpNow: HelpNow is looking to reduce the time required to get an ambulance in India by mobilizing Uber drivers, providing them with training (AHA certification) and basic life support equipment. They have 347 vehicles on the roads of Mumbai, with over 9100 calls for help serviced. The company was started after the father of one of the founders had a heart attack and was told he’d be waiting over 45 minutes for an ambulance; his dad was saved when they opted to drive him in their own car.
Global Belly: Develops and ships custom-branded products for influencers, focusing first on food (such as baking kits or recipe boxes.) The company says it currently has 17 influencers on the platform with 200 more on the way, and is currently seeing around $25K in monthly revenue.
Whatnot: A marketplace for selling buying/selling professionally authenticated collectibles, beginning with FunkoPop figures. Think GOAT for collectible. The company says it’s seeing $30K per month in GMV roughly three months after launch. Find our previous coverage of Whatnot here.
Pantheon: Modeled on knowledge-based game-show-style events for academic students like the Science Bowl or the UK’s University Challenge, Pantheon is a learning app where middle- and high-school-aged students come together not only to compete against each other, but to meet like-minded nerds to chew the fat. It also serves as a kind of ‘recruitment’ platform, where colleges and companies can discover promising candidates.
Glimpse: Just as we are being told to isolate ourselves to slow the spread of the coronavirus, here is an app to help you pass some time in a less lonely way. Glimpse lets you set up and have short — 2 minutes or less — video chats with friends, or friends of friends. Way less passive than the endless scroll through Instagram, sometimes a quick burst of interaction can be more valuable than a full day of meetings.
Multiverse: Inspired by open-ended games like Dungeons & Dragons and DIY game building on sites like Roblox, Multiverse is a platform that lets you build your own role-playing games.
Nugget: “Instagram for audio,” Nugget lets users record short audio clips, apply filters to juice up the sound, and share them on a social feed. The spontanaeity of a snapshot applied to the medium of podcasting: most definitely an app for our times.
Together: Facebook leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to privacy. Together aims to plug that gap with a paid social media app that it says ensures privacy for its users.
Zelos: Zelos lets gamers earn rewards across multiple video games for free. Its 32K weekly players complete challenges (like scoring three kills in a minute), earning points that can be collected and redeemed for virtual goods, discounts, or raffles. Game developers seeking more engagement are incentivized to integrate with Zelos, which earns money from a $5/month premium subscription for faster point-scoring that it splits with devs.
The Mercer Club: The Mercer Club is a luxury men’s streetwear and shoe rental service. Customers pay $75 per month to rent up to two items per week, so they don’t have to buy a $1000 Gucci hoodie just to wear it for one Instagram. Its “Rent The Runway for men” model has already grown to $100,000 ARR.
Adla: Adla sends college girls boxes of clothes they can try on and buy, then it picks up the rest. Adla improves margins through high geographic density and virality amongst campus communities. It charges a $7 markup per item, and hopes to eventually earn commissions by recommending brands who need to jumpstart their customer base.
Virgil Insurance: Virgil Insurance helps seniors turning 65 to buy Medicare-subsidized health insurance. The online broker makes it easy to compare plans while offering an experience that doesn’t require waiting on hold with a call center. 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day and insurance brokers earn $6 billion in commissions on them per year. The founders previously built fintech startups like Trim for cancelling subscriptions and Octane Lending for financing power-sports vehicle purchases.
Art in Res: Art In Res is a fine art marketplace where customers can buy on layaway. The startup signs up artists who are producing more than they’re selling, then equips them with tools for offering discounts, installment pricing, and monetizing their social media followers. Art In Res’ co-founder was a painter who learned to code to pay the bills, and he’s now partnered with 125 artists looking for a new ecommerce channel.
Hideout: The U.S. restaurant business is a $860 billion market and yet 59% of all orders are by millennials are for takeout or delivery, states Hideout. The startup is building a portfolio of delivery-only, restaurant brands, starting with a Japanese katsu sando concept, an organic bowls brand and soon an Italian subs and bento box-focused concepts.
Duffl: Duffl is targeting the real-time and often last-minute needs of college students by providing delivery within 10 minutes of common essentials. The company stores frequently purchased products near campus and hires students to deliver those goods via electric scooters. Revenue is generated through a delivery fee and margins optimized from buying products in bulk.
Thunderpod: Sort of like a fitness-fueled Tomagotchi. Each user gets a “Thunderpod” avatar, and it grows with each activity you do: the app records your movements, you can do fitness challenges against friends, or you can dip into is a large catalog of user-created fitness challenges, such as dances. One of a growing number of consumer and social apps coming out of India’s booming tech market.
Carupi: Carupi has developed a peer-to-peer marketplace for used cars that started in Brazil, and plans to come to the U.S. by the first quarter of 2021.
Motion: The team at Motion is building an extension that helps Chrome users manage their time on the web more efficiently. The tool goes beyond a simple blacklist and whitelist, with a more flexible structure allowing users to shift their habits over time on sites they have designated as “unproductive.” The tool is free for now but the team hopes to eventually develop a broader B2B strategy after becoming a favorite product of consumers.
Cron: Cron is building a Superhuman for Google Calendar. Cron’s co-founder Rapheal Schaad previously designed the original iA Writer app. His new startup is charging $19 per month to give G Cal power users some added power features that cleans up workflows and integrates with other productivity apps.
Moons: Moons describes itself as a SmileDirectClub for Latin America. Launched in March 2019, Moons offers orthodontic treatments as well as clear aligners, and claims it is half the price of SmileDirectClub. The company has $600,000 in monthly sales, and has hired over 200 people across 15 retail locations. Find our previous coverage of Moons here.
Chutney: Targeting India’s emerging population of online users, Chutney wants to be the “Amazon for India’s mass market.” Using WhatsApp, customers can purchase fresh fruits and veggies from nearby mom and pop stores and have next day pickup.
Yassir: Yassir is an app that is designed for French-speaking Africa. It wants to offer a suite of financial services for an estimated population of 430 million people across 29 countries.
EduRev: EduRev is an edtech company targeting 200 million Indian students that are preparing for exams. The subscription cost for the exam prep platform is $50 a year, and it has over 450,000 monthly active users. Instead of after-school coaching, EduRev is an app that provides preparation courses to students digitally.
Riya Collective: Indian wedding attire is expensive, so Riya Collective launched a Rent The Runway-style offering specifically focused around it. The clothing rental startup is founded by two Indian American entrepreneurs, and uses a data-driven styling and sizing algorithm. Riya Collective has grown from $10,000 in monthly revenue to $50,000 in monthly revenue in three months.
TagMango: A “Cameo for India” TagMango lets users book personalized shoutouts from top influencers and celebrities. The startup is, in simple terms, cashing in on making Bollywood more interactive and accessible. TagMango charges an average of $20 per video.
FitnessAI: With 18,000 paying users, FitnessAI generates personalized weight lifting plans. The founder, Jake Mor, has been building applications for 10 years — and fitness apps for four years. The startup charges $90 per year. Find our previous coverage of FitnessAI here.
GiveAway: Founded 12 months ago, GiveAway is creating a peer to peer marketplace to give away used things. It has successfully completed over 170,000 transactions across a user base that spans 5 countries. Unlike a traditional marketplace, GiveAway makes its users buy goods with virtual currency through bidding.
Deep Meditate: Charging $26 a year, Deep Meditate offers a personalized meditation practice. The app currently has 158,000 monthly active users.
Pahamify: Founded by a Youtube science influencer in Indonesia, Pahamify is an app to help Indonesian students pass the college entrance exam. The startup goes against traditional methods of preparation, such as in-person tutoring, and charges roughly $24 a year to students. Each month, per the company, 65,000 users are using Pahamify.
Edlyft: Founded by two former high school classmates and Computer Science majors who reunited in the Bay Area after college, Edlyft provides a mentor network, tutors, and peer support for college students who may lack a background in CS, but are pursuing it as a major or career.