It is not a secret to anyone that YCombinator is the most successful accelerator in the world. They have made well over 2,538 investments.
YCombinator runs two programs annually: during the summer and winter, named accordingly. The latest Summer 2019 batch of startups has graduated just under 2 weeks ago.
YCombinator is also, not only the most well-known accelerator, but by far the most profitable one. According to the statistics back in 2018: 15 YC alumni's are valued at over $1B and over 70 YC alumni's are valued at over $100M.
Many YC alumni companies become trendsetters. They are known to form new product segments and dominate them. With my “live curious” attitude in life, I decided to dive deeper into the most recent S19 batch of the chosen ones.
Interestingly, that 197 companies were accepted into the program, but only 166 made it to the demo day. By the way, here is a good short description of companies by TechCrunch: companies presented during day one and companies presented during day two.
The level of variousness of the information on 166 different companies is quite high, so I started to look for a service or a tool that would give me the possibility to structure and view the statistics in a more detailed way.
There are many great services which can help you to learn more about YC alumni. For instance:
- YCBD - has a very cool Top 100 company list features.
- Golden - allows you to query on the companies for more information on the social media or current company status.
- YClist - tracks dead and flourishing companies.
The problem with all of them is that none of them has enough information on the latest batch.
Besides, I was more interested in the trend analytics, rather than predicting the future of the startups. So I made some research on my own and tried to accumulate interesting and fun facts about all S19 YCombinator startups. The document is open and available to everyone. If you need this data for your research, please go ahead and use it. Here is the doc.
You can make your own copy (if you'd like so).
During my research on every of 166 companies, I started seeing clear trends. For instance, 4 companies clearly stood out, due to having no accessible information on their founders. None. Zero. Of course, you can always make an extra mile and inquire on the company incorporation documents, or even reach out to YCombinator itself. But to me, there are 4 antisocial companies on the list.
- 77 companies out of 166 were incorporated by first-time founders.
- It means that, 89 companies on the list have at least one of the founders with a prior founding experience.
- Out of 166 companies, only 55 have their domain extensions, which are not “.com”. So “.com” is still a go-ahead choice.
- 83 companies were founded in 2019. It means that exactly 50% of the companies are more than 1 year old.
- There are 31 companies with only 1 founder. 94 companies with 2 founders, 27 companies with 3 founders, and only 9 companies with 4 founders.
- In terms of the founders' origin. Of course, the US dominates with 102 companies, whose founders are from the States themselves. However, we can see that YCombinator is supporting diversity efforts. In S19 batch 27 countries were being presented by the founders. The most popular country after the US is Canada - with 9 companies being in the batch.
- 72% (119) companies claim that there are generating revenue now.
- The fun question is: what is the most trendy color scheme? Is there one? Well, 30% of the companies have more than 1 color in their color scheme. But corporate blue is still the most popular or safe choice, as 37 companies chose to use it. The least popular main color is yellow, with only two companies using it extensively.
What can any of these statistics tell us? Besides the obvious thought: if they could do it, you can do it.
I’d say just one: no one knows if a startup will be successful or not. Many factors can minimize the risk, but once again, nobody knows for sure. That is why Y Combinator experiments with the selection of best in their diversity and diversity of their founders experience.