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Now THREE YCombinator startups have raised $4.20 million seed rounds.

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Angels, Mobile!, Best PandaWhale Posts, Mother of God!, Path, Awesome, @paulg, Socialcam, Ark, Pair, @alexia, vc, Rising meets Risen

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Two weeks ago, Ark announced $4.20 million in seed financing.

Two days ago, SocialCam did the same thing.

Now Alexia reports that Pair has done it as well:

Investors in the company’s recent $4.2 million seed round include Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Ventures, Dave Morin, Paul Buchheit, Founder Collective, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, Michael Birch, Sam Altman, CrunchFund, Tencent, Yuri Milner, Betaworks, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Harjeet Taggar, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brandee Barker, Brian Pokorny, Elad Gil, and Susan Wu.

This sounds like it would be an amazing dinner party.

The YCombinator startup, which was built by robust a team of five co-founders, Oleg Kostour, Jamie Murai, Anton Krutiansky, Aswinkumar Rajendiran and Michael Petrov, plans on using the funding to expand its mobile development and design team, of course.

Pair has seen over 220K downloads in the past month since its launch, and Kostour says he wants to “further explore” dynamic ways for couples to engage a la Thumbkiss, “At the end of the day, Pair is for a couple. It’s for them to use share their memories, have fun and talk to each other. That changes how we design the product. One of the challenges is to examine the more subtle social interactions that exist between couples, so we can integrate those interactions into Pair.”

This is awesome. Oh, and this.

220k downloads. 20 investors. $4.20 million raised. Zero Board seats given up.

Mother of God.

For a thread about startups raising huge amounts of money in the seed round, check out this one from November:

YCombinator, through these three companies, is changing the rules of Venture Capital for a few startups.

If a seed-stage company can raise $4.20 million in seed funding, that delays Venture Capital until the valuations are enormous.


now, how...

YCombinator has had a lot of influence over how financings are done now.

what i am wondering if it's more a function of ycombinator facilitating direct access to a larger more focused group of angels or of a function of angels being more willing to invest in YC grads because they feel the ycombinator process is a risk mitigator.

I believe it's a combination of both.

Mind you, these are only 3 of the 64 YCombinator companies in the current class, so they're the outliers even among their peers.

my particular interest with this is related to a startup initiative i am working on with some regional and local investors so they can understand what an angel fund is, how to create it, and what it means for them in terms of having access to their investments locally but seeing global ROI. they need rapid immersion education which - in my experience - happens best when you can see other models of how it does or could work.

I've been in Silicon Valley for a dozen years and it's taken this community this long to get to this point.

If our experiments can be used as models that can help you, great.

Is there something specific I could help you find, Christine?

Adam, thank you for asking! I'm going to think on this over the weekend and get back to you. The first thing that came to mind when I saw your post was this: Lessons Learned.

Hi Adam, so I did some thinking on this over the weekend. Our biggest challenge is getting the entrepreneurs to the table. they are stuck in deadlocked commutes and don't have much bandwidth to engage in networking events - or rather - would be more inclined once they had a sense that our startup initiative is real and can help them take that crazy idea and turn it into a company. I think we are going to have to take a micro-combinator approach and I think we can line up the money and infrastructure to do that but we need to reach the entrepreneurs and to me that is a social media strategy problem. how did you call the entrepreneurs out of their hives? especially those that aren't 20 something college students (not that they aren't valued).

I believe "mobile only" social products now have a new premium given the competition to get into them and the amount of funding available. It's not that it's worth X, it's more that the demand to invest far outstrips the supply.

cool ... and a good concept to pivot an implementation strategy on... ;O)

There are several companies that confirm your belief: Instagram, Foursquare, Path, Pair, SocialCam, Viddy.

On the other hand, these companies are not mobile-only: Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, 9gag, Klout, Evernote, Quora, Pinwheel, Ark.

Hmmm. Seems like a hot company gets a high valuation whether it's mobile-only or mobile/web.

true dat! ;O)

Now the only question is, how does one become a hot company? :)

conventional wisdom says solve a problem for people. i think you solve a problem they don't realize they have - until you provide them the solution. then it feels like serendipity... :O)

Square, Dropbox, Instapaper, Evernote... I see your point. :)

Christine- I agree with you here. A seamless product is one that people can't believe they lived without :) Would be interested in hearing about what you are working on...

Louise would love to talk. you can hit me up on twitter @cag123 or via LinkedIn (Christine Goodwin) or via email (

I think we're going to have to add a private messaging feature so people don't have to put their email addresses out on the public Web....

i put it out there knowingly... but the private messaging feature is a great idea ;O)

Will be in touch C :)


Chris, thanks for giving me reason to save this to my Mother of God stash:

I always feel like a Super Trooper when I hear that phrase :)

Me too! I'm not sure where the meme character came from, or if Super Troopers was the origin of this phrase on teh Internets.

I should do some research.

Adam, that rocks!

If I'm a traditional VC that isn't a name brand, I am pretty damn scared.

Any ideas on how they can evolve?

I'm thinking they need to participate in more of these seed deals.

They've got to understand that as capital becomes more available, they need to add value in different ways. Just claiming to add value isn't enough. But it'll be a tough task. Leaders like Greylock and Andreesen Horowitz are already investing heavily in operational help--smaller VCs will have a hard time catching up.

Fred Wilson says something similar -- it's all about value add -- in Gigaom's write up about the emerging crowdfunding environment:

Let's add one more!

YC Price Guide Startup Priceonomics Raises $1.5M Seed From Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel

$1.5 million seems downright reasonable compared with $4.2 million.

I can't believe I just said that.

True... I actually transposed the 1 & 5, thought it was 5.1M :\

That's ok, I half expect them to add to that seed round anyway.

Are they going to kill themselves with investor management?

No, they're opting for an investor management strategy called "I don't give a fuck."

For example, the rumor mill says YCombinator is LIVID at how Ark represents that YCombinator approved their taking money from 14 VCs. Ask Ark if they care if that's really true. They don't.

I would happily give up board seats for $4.2M in (convertible note) seed....

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