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An Investor Highlight on Y Combinator's success

An Investor Highlight on Y Combinator's success
August 19, 2021

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Y Combinator has a reputation as a roll-up-its sleeves investor, with a finely tuned program for sourcing, accelerating, and investing in startups while moving them toward rapid growth. As an incubator first and foremost with the Y Combinator (YC) accelerator program, the firm has first access to founders with a novel idea and a bit of proven traction. YC has had success with now-public alumni Airbnb (2009 cohort), DoorDash (2013), Coinbase (2012), Dropbox (2007), and more. Private company successes include Stripe, Instacart, Reddit & Gusto.

Accelerator Frenzy

Despite competition from accelerator programs since YC's founding in 2005, YC has remained a fixture while many others have crumbled. Still, hopeful applicants for YC's winter cohort applications (due Sept. 8) have other options. There's the Alchemist Accelerator (taking applications before its Sept. 10th deadline) and Ready Set Raise, the accelerator from the Female Founders Alliance (due Sept. 9th).

In fact, the accelerator program has become a gatekeeper for those hoping to get into Silicon Valley, inspiring a whole host of how-tos and blog posts

Diversity of investments & founders

For all the goodwill intended to address Silicon Valley’s diversity issue, offering up data on investments in Black, Latin, and female founders, for instance, the group photos of late-night hacker sessions and startups making it through to the pages of Tech Crunch tend to skew white and male. However, that’s certainly not a Y Combinator-specific problem (YC has gotten heat, more so for contributing to SV’s ageism). But rather than gatekeep knowledge, YC is generous with sharing its knowledge base, offering several key resources for free. Startup School is a free online program and community for founders who can’t or won’t make it into the program, and YC also offers free downloads of fundraising docs, making standard financial term sheets accessible.

While the majority of investments appear to skew B2B SaaS, YC does break into other industries. Here’s a look at some of YC's recent investments:


👨‍💻  Stacker Software is a U.K.-based no-code platform for DIY software development, without a developer on salary. Y Combinator recently participated in a $20MM Round A alongside Initialized Capital, A16Z, and Pentech Ventures


💸  Pave recently earned a $46MM Round B led by the incubator alongside regular investment buddy A16Z and Bessemer Venture Partners. Pave helps companies plan compensation packages, eliminating confusion on real value of equity and merit-based increases.  


🔬  Encellin is a biotech company taking on endocrine disorders with its latest seed round of $5.9MM led by Khosla Ventures & SV Latam Capital, along with YC and Sand Hill Angels. The firm develops regenerative materials using cell transplant technology. 

👭  Revel is a membership community for women 40+ providing a safe space for events and discussions around the second half of life’s journey. August Capital led Revel's $3.5MM seed round earlier this month.

For the full scoop on YC investments, check out our investor profile.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:

561 Companies | 113 Funding Activities | 59 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:


Zepz (FKA Worldremit) raises $292MM from Farrolon Capital

P2P Payment • Round E • Avonmore and Brook Green Ward, U.K.

Zetwork raises $150MM from D1 Capital Partners

Industrial Engineering • Round E • Bengalaru, India

Meosif raises $12MM from  David Sacks and Arra Malekzadeh of Craft Ventures

API Analytics • Round A • San Francisco, CA

EarBuds raises $3MM from Ecliptic Capital 

Social Music Streaming App • Seed • Austin, TX

Cisco acquires Epsagon

Analytics • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA

Goldman Sachs & Charlesbank Capital acquires MDVIP

Health Care Services • Acquisition • Boca Raton, FL

Stonepeak Infrastructure acquires Astound Broadband for $8.1BN

Telecommunications • Acquisition • Kirkland, WA

Adobe Systems acquires for $1.3BN

Collaboration • Acquisition • New York, NY

Permira Advisers offers growth capital to CommentSold

E-Commerce • Growth Capital • Huntsville, AL

Solum Partners acquires California Royale 

Almond Grower • Acquisition • Denair, CA

Kohlberg & Company acquires Myers Emergency Power Systems

Emergency Services • Acquisition • Bethlehem, PA

Eaze Technologies will acquire Green Dragon Colorado Medical Cannabis Co

Cannabis • Acquisition • Denver, CO

ATL Partners acquires Geost

Aerospace & Defense • Acquisition • Tuscon, AZ

FiscalNote acquires Predata 

Predictive Analytics • Acquisition • New York, NY

Periscope Equity offers recapitalization to CyberMaxx

Cyber Security • Recapitalization • Nashville, TN


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