Startups And Top Investors Unite At Y Combinator's Tenth Demo Day
Tuesday, March 23, 2010; 11:55 AM
I'm here at Y Combinator headquarters in Mountain View, California, where over two dozen startups are showing off their wares to a room full of investors and press. The room is packed with with some of Silicon Valley's most highly regarded VCs, angel investors, and entrepreneurs.Demo Day has always drawn big crowds, but as the Y Combinator program has matured the quality of startups presenting has gotten noticably better (I remember being thoroughly impressed by many of the companies that launched in the last batch). Today's companies look like they'll be continuing that trend, even though many of them are only three months old.Some of the companies presenting today have already launched; we'll provide a brief recap of what they're up to, and then link to our past coverage.Gamador ¿ Gamador is a social game developer that has released three games so far. The company says that it differentiates itself from other developers by releasing quick, smart games at a very rapid pace (they can develop a game in about a week. The company has built its own analytics platform for social games called Rankador, which they liken to a 'PageRank for social games'.Etacts ¿ Etacts, which launched in February, is a service to help ensure that you keep in touch with the friends and colleagues you care about. It can help prioritize messages, alert you if you're falling out of touch with someone, and more. It was also the first service to implement oAuth for Gmail.500friends ¿ For use by online retailers, 500friends is designed to encourage users to share products with their friends on social media services by offering incentives.Zencoder ¿ Zencoder is AWS for video. Customers include on2 (recently acquired by Google), drupal, and Posterous. The service handles transcoding, video delivery, and advertising.Launch Hear- A platform to help companies reach out to bloggers ? a "digital isthmus". Send emails that bloggers want to receive, but that companies will pay to send. Host conferences called Swagapalooza to connect with PR/bloggers.Embedster- Allows bloggers to serve an ad for any YouTube they display on their site. Even if you just have a link to the video, Embedster can serve up a slick overlay that plays an ad before following the link.Infoharmoni ¿ Infoharmoni is a platform for visualizing real-time data, which can be drawn from platforms like Twitter and Foursquare. The company previously wrote a guest post providing an analysis of the real-time data around Techcrunch50.Data Marketplace ¿ Data Marketplace launched last week, helping pair financial organizations when the data they want. It also allows people who have compiled data sets to put them up for sale, for purchase by general consumers.Nowmov ¿ With founders that include two former Apple engineers, Nowmov is looking to reinvent the way we watch video, pulling in content from Twitter and showing it to you in a TV-like experience.Greplin ? Data used to be stored on your desktop, now it's scattered across a dozen services on the web. Greplin wants to help you find your data that's in the cloud, no matter which service it's stored on. Think of it as a Google for your personal data (or a Spotlight for the cloud).Notifo is a service that makes it extremely easy for other sites and applications to integrate mobile push notifications. See our full coverage on the compelling service here.Embed.ly ¿ Hundreds of sites offer embed services. Embed.ly wants to be a single source for all of them ? run a search for "Will Ferrel" and you'll see video embeds from Funny or Die, YouTube, etc, making it easy to grab the embed code for each. Helps reveal content that you may have found using Google Video search, etc.Answerly is looking to quickly build vertical search engines around highly monetizable opportunities. The first product is Answerly, a Q&A engine, but the company is also working on other verticals, including a law-related search engine.Seeing Interactive ¿ Wants to save newspapers by offering 'yelp for newspapers'. Creates a model where they partner with local papers, then offer yellow pages, classifies, and more about that local market. Yelp has the metro markets covered, Seeing Interactive wants the rest of it.Crocodoc ¿ Crocodoc launched last month, offering an extremely easy way to upload and share documents that other users can mark up. It recently added new features that make it more competitive with Adobe Acrobat Pro.CHROMAom is the result of a merger between COLOURlovers, a community of people who love swapping and rating professional color palettes, and color matching software ColorSchemer. The company is profitable and already has a large base of users. You can see more on the recently evolved company in our past coverage.NewsLabs ? A platform that looks to help 'old school' journalists adapt to the web, by giving them help with advertising, SEO, and other issues they may not have had to deal with before. 140bets is the company behind Tweetbracket, a basic app that lets you play along with March Madness. The company is building a platform that allows for binary voting, including support for SMS submissions (e.g. during a basketball game a team could ask if viewers thought a player would make a free throw, and users could submit their response via text message).Zenedy ? Zenedy identifies search queries that are commonly search for and then gets freelance writers to produce content about them, which is then surfaced in search results (it's competing with Seed, Demand Media, and Mahalo).Fabricly is looking to help streamline manufacturing in the clothing industry. Users can post details about the projects they're looking to create, and manufacturers bid on these projects (it sounds a bit like RedBeacon in this respect).Cardpool is a site that lets users buy and sell gift cards. You can see our full coverage on the recently-launched (and rapidly growing) site here.