Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 2’s top 8 startups

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Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 2’s top 8 startups

Gunshot detectors and anti-drone defense topped our list of favorites from the 48 startups that presented at Y Combinator Summer 2016 Demo Day 2. We asked investors what wowed them and huddled with the TechCrunch team to come up with our pick of the 8 most promising companies. Check them out here, as well as our top 7 startups from the 44 that presented on Demo Day 1. Additional reporting by John Mannes and Matthew Lynley.


ApolloShield – Anti-drone defense

Drones present a serious threat to security. Every year, there are thousands of security incidents with drones that can include contraband delivery and near collisions with aircraft. ApolloShield is selling a device that can take control of unwanted drones, disconnect operators, and safely land the crafts. It was built by hackers from Israel’s version of the NSA. Law enforcement clients would need an average of five devices that cost $30,000 per device per year. To date, the hardware can defend against about half the drones on the market, and ApolloShield claims to have the only active anti-drone deployment in the US.

Read more about ApolloShield on TechCrunch.


People.ai – Sales team analytics  

People.ai wants to help companies understand what sales teams are doing on a daily basis. Its product integrates with calendars, phones, and emails to log sales activity that leads to closing deals. The idea is that sales teams can track best practices from top performers and close more deals. Over 100 companies have partnered with people.ai over the last four months at a price of $50 per seat per month. People.ai could let companies measure employees the way they measure their websites.

Read more about People.ai on TechCrunch.


Amberbox — Safety sensors for gunshot detection

Fire alarms are everywhere, but there’s a lot of opportunity to go beyond that, says Amberbox CEO James Popper says. His product’s goal is not only to detect fires, but also active shooters with gunshot detection. Going after just the existing opportunity alone, it’s a $26 billion market, but Amberbox is aiming for a new subscription-style model. The devices network with each other in order to create a large system that can notify authorities and managers quickly and help them lock down entire campuses. The devices cost $50 per month, or around $1,250 per three-story building, Popper said, and the devices break even after around 3 months of revenue. Reducing gun violence may be a struggle for the US, but at least this product could limit the severity of tragedies.


Seneca Systems – Local government software

Local governments use outdated phones, spreadsheets, and email to organize spending of over $1.1 trillion per year in the US on trash pickup, police dispatch, traffic lights, and more. Seneca Systems offers a software system that ties all departments of a local government together so they can sensibly respond to requests from citizens and each other. Seneca Systems already has big cities like Chicago and Boston paying for its $60 per employee SaaS, with 100 percent month over month growth in recurring revenue. There are 10.5 million total local gov employees in the US, and 47 west coast cities in Seneca Systems’ pipeline already. If it can lock down the foundation of management infrastructure for local govs, it could expand into more IT services.


Jumpcut — Online courses that feel like movies

Last year, LinkedIn spent $1.5 billion on Lynda.com, an online learning platform. Online education itself has become a huge market. But the course completion rates and retention is far too low, according to Jumpcut CEO Kong Pham. That’s because the lectures are simply too boring. He’s hoping that his team can build a company based around “Spielberg-like” online courses, starting with professional networking videos like learning how to network and become better at social media. The company has $85,000 in monthly recurring revenue and is doubling month-over-month with a $17-per-month subscription model. It’s surely going to be challenging to figure out how to make highly cinematic videos about tough subjects like computer science and mathematics. But Pham and his team — which have previously built a company in viral video — hope they can make us addicted to learning like we are to Netflix


Nova Credit — Credit reports for immigrants

One of the most important parts of economic health is the ability to make purchases with credit and debt. But for immigrants in the US, they might not have access to credit because they simply have no credit history in the States. Nova Credit is looking to bridge the gap between the credit history immigrants have internationally and creditors in the U.S., giving them a set of data to make a call as to whether to issue a line of credit. Those scores are equally important when it comes to renting apartments or taking out loans, too. Each credit pull costs lenders $30, and with 10 million immigrants in the US, that already addresses a multi-billion dollar market/ Soon the company will link to firms in India, Canada and Germany, and expects to cover 90 percent of the immigrant base in the US in a year.

Read more of our coverage of Nova Credit on TechCrunch


WorkRamp — Training software for the enterprise

Recruiting can be expensive, but finding the best talent for your company is absolutely critical to success. But what often gets overlooked is that the people a company hires also have an opportunity to keep learning and become more valuable to the company over time. WorkRamp is building training software for companies like PayPal and Square that helps further train those employees, increasing the impact they have at a company over time. Sales reps can come on to WorkRamp and record a pitch that their peers and mentors can view and send feedback on in order to get better at their jobs. That’s one example of the exercises, which are designed to be more personalized. The company has booked $120,000 in annual recurring revenue, and wants to make sure every employe is maximally leveraged.


CrowdAI – Computer + human image recognition

Companies send CrowdAI photos, and the startup tells clients exactly what’s in them. It can recognize farm land, factories, oil rigs, and much more. One company uses it to detect the number of shipping containers in satellite photos of ports, and sells that data to hedge funds. Big companies pay a fortune for accurate human tagging, while small companies rely on computers that can be inaccurate. CrowdAI blends humans and machine image scanning to accurately and cheaply provide image recognition. It’s already working with Planet Labs and self-driving car company Cruise. With a team of technical co-founders, CrowdAI could grow to help industries like medical imaging and the military too.


Honorable Mention: Robby – Delivery robots

Postbots? Other companies like Starship are head in the ground delivery drone race but we still love the idea so we’re giving Robby an honorable mention.

There 12 billion food and package delivers in the US every year. But the on-demand meal and grocery industries are being held back by the high costs of human deliverers. Robby makes self-driving delivery robots that can autonomously navigate sidewalks to your door. Robby can reduce costs of deliveries from $5 to $10, to $1 to $2 each. Its MIT PhD-built bots have already made 50 deliveries, and Robby about to start a pilot program with Instacart. If Robby can make deliveries cheaper for the consumer, it could unlock enormous growth for the on-demand economy.