YC Answers The Questions You Ask (“A Lot”)

Earlier today, Y Combinator President Sam Altman posted the type of numbers about which he gets asked “a lot” — calling them (humbly and probably rightly) “very imperfect indicators of success.”

Here’s the lowdown, if you missed them: Excluding companies like Quora that didn’t get their start with the incubator, Altman says that YC has now backed roughly 940 companies altogether, and nearly a third — or around 300 — have shut down.

Many of its survivors are thriving, though.

Consider: The total money raised by all YC companies exceeds $7 billion, Altman says. (Altman tweeted on Friday that YC’s winter batch alone has already attracted $227 million from investors.)

More stunning, those companies are collectively valued at more than $65 billion (on paper).

Broken down further, Altman writes that YC has now produced more than 40 companies that are valued at more than $100 million by investors.

He doesn’t name any startups, but there are plenty of brands you’d recognize in this group, including Reddit, the currently beleaguered community news sharing site, which reportedly raised $50 million at a $500 million valuation a year ago.

Altman also notes there are now seven YC-backed, still-private companies that are valued at more than $1 billion by investors.

That’s a lot of unicorns, particularly given these are companies that were largely incubated at YC. (A  realized exit in the same valuation range came via Twitch, a YC company that sold for roughly $970 million last year to Amazon, not including earn-outs.)

Altman doesn’t break out these billion-dollar babies, but in case you’re trying to keep track (and according to Altman, many of you are), they are:

  1. The San Francisco-based HR software company, Zenefits, valued at $4.5 billion in May
  2. Home-share company Airbnb, reportedly valued at more than $25 billion as of June
  3. The storage company Dropbox, valued most recently at $10 billion (but reportedly under intense competitive pressure)
  4. The payments company Stripe, valued last month at $5 billion
  5. Grocery delivery service Instacart, which was valued at $2 billion back in January (and is likely valued at more by private investors as of this writing)
  6. Machine Zone, which develops applications and games for users of social networks and mobile devices and was reportedly raising funding at a $3 billion-plus valuation a full year ago
  7. Docker, the platform for building, shipping and running software applications. The company had reportedly raised funding at valuation of more than $1 billion back in April.