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Right Off The Batch: 50% Of YC W24 Is Built With AI. Who Got Funded?

Bird with coin - Seed funding.

Every cohort of Y Combinator startups “graduates” to great fanfare when the accelerator holds its closely watched demo days. But what happens next?

Using Crunchbase data, we set out to track the funding trajectories of these seed- and pre-seed companies, starting with the very AI-centric winter 2024 batch, which wrapped up its demo day in early April. We grouped companies by industry and recorded who has announced funding.  We also looked at which investors are most active in backing these startups.

Although not all of the latest YC companies that raised seed funding have publicly announced it yet, a few have. Those with disclosed investments include a number bringing AI-enabled tools to sectors like legal tech, recruiting, code development and medical recordkeeping. They’ve attracted funding from active seed investors like Pioneer Fund and SV Angel 1, as well as prominent venture capital firms like Benchmark, Khosla Ventures and General Catalyst.

An AI-centric batch

Half of this recently launched batch is building with AI, said Garry Tan, CEO of Y Combinator, in a post announcing its second post-COVID cohort that gathered in person in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

Tan took the helm over a year ago and moved YC up to the city. (He left his firm Initialized Capital, an early-stage firm he co-founded in 2012 with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.)

Being in-person and in the city has apparently created a stronger community.

“Hundreds of founders are meeting daily for office hours and events, bumping into legendary people, and surrounding themselves with people who will go deep on subjects and celebrate hard work,” said Lindsay Amos, director of communication, via email. “There is no other place in the world with the same density of great startup founders per square mile as the area around the YC office — and this is fostering innovation and growth.”

San Francisco is experiencing a resurgence due to AI, which is borne out by Crunchbase data.

According to  Jared Friedman, YC group partner, these companies skew younger — 30% of the last batch are college students or grads. Two years ago they were around 10%. “Because of AI, it’s the best time in a decade for college students to start startups,” he said.

Enterprise companies still dominate, with more than two-thirds of the companies in enterprise SaaS. Around 11% are consumer oriented — with AI as the driver for many of the consumer offerings.

After the peak of 2021, the size of YC batches have come down. But YC still launches the largest number of companies in a single cohort — 260 companies in the winter batch.

Seed funding

Interacting in person benefits founders and their rate of progress, said Jason Gray, founder of seed investor Pioneer Fund, an active investor in YC companies, via email.

Pioneer has a network of portfolio companies and venture partners that add up to 1,500 YC alumni with relationships to founders either as a friend, former colleague or customer, according to Gray.  This allows for front loading due diligence.

On the common misconception that YC companies raise funding in advance of demo day, Gray said “while it does happen, it’s not the norm.” He added that “many founders focus on traction until demo day and are selective about which investors they allocate to before then.”

YC hosts an investor evening as well as sharing pitches online. “The in-person element does drive some urgency, which we believe is a benefit to both founders and investors,” said Gray. “Minimizing the distraction of fundraising for founders is in everyone’s best interest.”

The median raise, according to YC, is around $1.3 million post-demo day.

Based on an analysis of Crunchbase data, over all time Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital are the most active multistage investors in YC companies by deal count. On the seed fund side, Liquid 2 Ventures, SV Angel, Pioneer Fund, FundersClub, Soma Capital and Garry Tan’s previous fund Initialized Capital are most active.

Of the winter 2024 cohort, meanwhile, funded companies include:

  • Stockholm-based Leya, an AI assistant for lawyers using proprietary data alongside cited legal sources. The company raised a $10.5 million seed led by Benchmark with partner Chetan Puttagunta joining the board. Belgium-based Hummingbird Ventures and SV Angel participated. Leya is working with 70+ European legal firms and has plans to expand to the U.S.
  • San Francisco-based Greptile, built an API that uses large language models to answer questions about a company’s code base. It raised a seed funding of $4.1 million led by Initialized Capital.
  • San Francisco-based YonedaLabs, built by a team from Cambridge University, is creating a foundation model for chemists which can predict outcomes without having to run costly trials. The company raised a $4 million seed round led by Khosla Ventures with participation from 500 Emerging Europe, 468 Capital and Fellows Fund among others.
  • San Francisco-based Pythagora, built by a team from Croatia, raised $4 million to help build apps with  natural-language interactions. The tool is open-sourced and said to be used by 30,000 developers. Investors include Inovo, 500 Emerging Europe, Moonfire Ventures, Rebel Fund and UpHonest Capital.
  • Spacecraft software company Basalt Tech, based in San Francisco, raised a $3.5 million seed funding led by Initialized Capital.
  • Paris-based Malibou helps small businesses manage payroll and compliance. It raised a $3.1 million seed led by European venture firm Breega.
  • San Francisco-based Hona AI, an AI data platform for healthcare records, raised a seed funding of $3 million led by General Catalyst.
  • San Francisco-based Apriora, an AI interviewer to screen job candidates, raised $2.8 million led by 1984 Ventures with participation from HOF Capital and Pioneer fund.
  • Manifold Freight, a Seattle-based logistics aggregator of spot freight, raised a $2 million seed round from New Stack Ventures and YC. The founders were engineers at digital freight company Convoy which closed last fall.

Related Crunchbase Pro lists and searches

Pro subscribers can export these lists to track progress over time within their Crunchbase Pro accounts.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

  1. SV Angel is an investor in Crunchbase. They have no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.

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