After a marathon day of really solid startup pitches, it’s officially a wrap for Y Combinator’s Winter 2012 demo day held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. We’ve been here since the beginning, with coverage of all the startup pitches across the five demo sessions that were marked as “on the record” and ready for publicity.
The fifth round of YC companies today had a wide-range of specialties — from bringing families closer together, to tools for mobile app developers, to letting women swap dresses online, and beyond. In case you missed our earlier dispatches, here is where you can find our previous coverage of session one, session two, session three, and session four.
The following are the startups that presented on the record in the fifth and final session of YC winter 2012 demo day:
Hackpad: Collaboration online is a space that many companies big and small have tried to tackle, but no one has quite conquered yet. Hackpad is throwing its hat in this ring with real time wiki software that is purportedly easy to edit, simple to share, and works in real time. And the app seems to be getting some real traction: Last week over 1,000 documents were created by users, it took off especially well during South By Southwest, and over 400 companies have entered into Hackpad’s beta program and are importing their existing wikis onto the service.
FamilyLeaf: This website allows families to create private social networks where they can share photos, information such as birthdays and addresses, and simple daily updates amongst themselves online. According to FamilyLeaf, Facebook and LinkedIn have conquered social networking for friends and professionals respectively, but the family market is still underserved. So far, FamilyLeaf is proving to be quite sticky: 70 percent of FamilyLeaf’s alpha users are coming back to the site, according to the company. You can check out a more in-depth profile on FamilyLeaf here.
Ark: What kind of search app would Google and Facebook build if they weren’t at each others’ throats? The folks at a startup called Ark thinks it would look a lot like what they have made. Ark is a search engine designed entirely for people search, letting you look for others across multiple social networks and other websites by sifting through 30 different filters — such as hometowns, universities, current cities and more. For more in-depth coverage of Ark, you can check out our recent article on the company here.
Chute: Lots of apps today want to add photo and video sharing capabilities — but when it comes time to do so, their developers have to build their own systems from the ground up. Chute wants to take care of all that for them. Chute has built one cloud platform that provides photo and video infrastructure as a service through a combo of APIs, iOS and Android SDKs, and component libraries. So far more than 200 apps have used Chute, and 700 are on its waiting list. Its customers include MSNBC, Today.com, ESPN, Conde Nast, and many more big names.
Minefold: Massive multi-player games such as Minecraft often require users to host their own servers in order to play. But as Zynga has proven, the average gamer today isn’t necessarily a computer science geek keen to set up complicated hardware — they just want to plug in and play. Minefold lets people do that, providing a hosting service for massive multiplayer games so that players can simply press one button and start playing. So far, it works with Minecraft, where week-over-week it has seen 34 percent user growth and 36 percent revenue growth.
Exec: Ever wish you had your own personal assistant? The Exec app lets you have one at your disposal within ten minutes for $25 an hour. You can use Exec to outsource errands and small jobs such as dry cleaning pickup and basic research tasks, and so far it has proved quite popular: 99 percent of customers in the past week have rated jobs completed with Exec with four or five stars, 29 percent of customers come back within the first week of using it, and the company has already processed $32,000 worth of transactions since launching in beta earlier this year. You can read our previous coverage of Exec here and here.
99dresses: A site where women can trade their high end, gently used clothes and accessories, with the aim of allowing them to have a virtual “infinite” closet of clothes at their disposal. When people contribute clothing, they get “buttons” they can spend to buy other items on 99dresses. They can also buy more buttons with cash. In its pilot launch in Australia, 4,500 dresses were uploaded and 3,500 were sold. You can read more in-depth coverage of the company here.
Matterport: Matterport has created a system that lets anyone quickly and easily create a 3D model of physical objects and interior spaces. MatterPort has constructed a low cost point and shoot camera device that records what a space or object looks like and renders a copy of it automatically.
Read more Y Combinator Demo Day coverage and check out all 39 startups who presented publicly:
Y Combinator is a venture fund which focuses on seed investments to startup companies. It offers financing as well as business consulting along with other opportunities to 2-4 person companies looking to take an idea to a product. Y Combinator looks for companies with “good” ideas over companies with experience and a business model. The company made its first investments in Summer 2005. Y Combinator selects companies to finance and consult with twice a year. They are located in...