DoseDr (YC W16) Helps People with Diabetes Control Their Treatment in Real Time

Diabetics with controlled blood sugar levels cost less and lead happier, healthier lives. But the traditional methods for achieving this are often inefficient and ineffective.

Diabetes patients typically see their doctors every three months for adjustments of their insulin doses. Between these visits, their blood glucose levels may be poorly controlled, as patients struggle with complicated treatment regimens. They often rely on pen and paper, trips to the clinic, or nurses checking in with phone calls to track and assess their blood sugar logs. Existing apps promote healthy living through tracking data, but they don't use that data to help doctors make adjustments to their patients' treatment plans in real time.

DoseDr is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class with a mobile app that helps diabetics better control their disease by adjusting their insulin doses in between doctor visits. This can prevent the $150 billion wasted each year from complications from poorly controlled diabetes.

The DoseDr mobile app allows patients to track glucose readings and insulin injections and suggests changes to their regimen, bringing patients closer to goal faster than routine clinic visits. Providers are able to intervene remotely through the web portal, making dose adjustments as necessary. DoseDr also offers a dedicated provider that helps patients stay on track.

It's an approach that has already proven effective. DoseDr has taken on some of the sickest patients – ones uncontrolled despite years of conventional treatment – and gotten their blood glucose levels under control in less than a month. The first patient DoseDr enrolled was saved from a trip to the ICU that would have cost some $13,000. Their provider was alerted by DoseDr to a series of abnormally high blood sugars and saw the patient immediately, catching an infection early enough to avoid hospitalization.

It won’t stop here. DoseDr is starting with diabetes, but the company has an eye on transforming routine medical care across other diseases.

DoseDr is currently available in California and Louisiana, with plans to expand into New York, Florida, and Illinois in the second quarter of 2016.

Cover (YC W16) Helps You Insure Anything With the Snap of a Photo

90 percent of all property insurance policies end up getting finalized over the phone. Wouldn't it make sense for them to start there, as well?

Cover is a startup launching out of our Winter 2016 class that provides a mobile-first solution to quickly and easily get a price quote for insurance coverage. Using the Cover app for iOS or Android, you simply take a photo of the property you want insured. Cover connects you with an insurance brokerage in your area best suited to insuring that piece of property.

Cover currently handles 300 requests to help insure cars, homes, pets, electronics, jewelry, phones, computers and more each week.

Many people currently begin the insurance buying process through web aggregators, which are often time-consuming and require more information than is necessary. Ultimately, these services resell that data to a variety of different brokerages, resulting in weeks or months of unwanted spam. Cover provides a straightforward alternative to this system, by connecting you with one partner that will provide the best service and rate, without involving any other middlemen.

Cover first joined the YC community as part of our first ever Fellowship batch. Subsequently, they joined Y Combinator as part of the W16 class.

Cover's cofounders previously worked as management consultants in the finance, risk, and insurance practices of a large consultancy firm. The team has both an intimate understanding of the insurance industry, and expertise at building and distributing mobile products -- a rare combination that gives them a unique advantage in running Cover.

Halolife (YC W16) Brings Transparency and Ease to the Process of Planning a Funeral

Planning a funeral is a sensitive and often stressful process that is further complicated by having to call and visit multiple funeral providers in person, dealing with unclear pricing plans and constant upselling. Across the ten major U.S. metro areas, prices for the same exact funeral service type can vary by more than 100%, according to research from the Funeral Consumer Alliance.

Halolife is an online marketplace launching out of our Winter 2016 class that helps individuals and families find and plan a cremation or burial service that meets their needs, budget, and location. By providing an online solution for these services, Halolife aims to bring transparency and ease of use into a notoriously antiquated and opaque industry.

Using Halolife's automated online platform, individuals can select a plan, choose a funeral provider, complete paperwork electronically, and submit payment all through the web. There is no sales pitch. No pressure. Just a trusted advisor to help make the right choice.

The funeral planning industry is valued at $20.7 billion in the United States, with the average funeral costing between $8,000 and $10,000. With consumers carrying out more and more of their purchases large and small online, demand for an online solution in this market is only going to grow in the coming years.

Halolife CEO and cofounder Jake Beyer says,

“We are seeing younger family members using Halolife to plan for their loved ones in hospice, and even for themselves. Death is a difficult topic. We provide the option for people to plan online at their own speed on their own time."
Last month, Halolife launched a referral program with one of California's largest hospice providers for patients and families to make funeral arrangements.

Halolife's cofounders Jake Beyer and Sam Bolgert both previously worked on building early-stage tech marketplaces at Storefront and Lovely. After seeing the difficulties of planning a funeral firsthand, they decided to build Halolife.


Georgette Packaging (YC W16) Makes Custom Branded Boxes and Cups for Cafes and Bakeries

Small- and medium-sized bakeries, cafes, and restaurants are currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts, thanks to a renewed enthusiasm for locally made food and the immense marketing power of social media platforms such as Instagram. But as important as branding is to many of these businesses, many of them serve their coffees and food in generic white cups and plain brown boxes. That's because the packaging industry does not tend to provide custom designs in small enough quantities for this market.

Georgette Packaging, a startup launching out of our Winter 2016 class, is filling in this gap, providing a platform that lets companies of any size easily and affordably create their own custom to-go boxes and cups.

Georgette Packaging provides live pricing and online ordering capability for 8 box sizes and 4 cup sizes, including over 660 customizing options. By batch manufacturing many small orders together, and shouldering the cost of tooling, the company is able to offer exceptionally low prices.

The small- and medium-sized food service niche alone is a sizable market, worth some $1 billion annually. But for Georgette, this could be only the beginning: The overall packaging industry currently makes up 1 percent of the United States' GDP, and is estimated to be worth $186 billion in 2017, growing apace with rising global consumption. Georgette Packaging is one of the first startups to address this under-served market from a technology perspective, and has the potential to expand beyond bakeries and cafes in the months ahead.

Georgette Packaging was founded by Sarah Landstreet, an entrepreneur who experienced the problem of finding custom packaging first-hand when she owned a bakery in Ireland. Georgette currently works with over 100 businesses across the US and Canada, and is growing its revenue by 10% every week.

Prompt (YC W16) Lets You Interact With Apps and Services With a Simple Text or Slack Message

It seems like there's an app for everything these days. This leaves us with the somewhat absurd but real problem of "app overload" -- it can be time consuming and distracting to open up a dozen different apps to do the stuff you're wanting to get done.

Prompt is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that serves as a "command line for the real world," by letting you interact with all kinds of apps and make purchases through simply sending an SMS, Slack message, or through the web. It lets you access the best parts of your favorite apps quicker and easier than ever.

Sarah Perez wrote about Prompt recently in a story on TechCrunch:

"Prompt offers automated assistance across categories, including commerce, home automation, information and productivity. That means you can text to order an Uber or a Domino’s pizza, get directions, check your flight, read the news or get the weather, find a business on Yelp, get a recipe or manage your IoT devices like WeMo switches, Hue bulbs, Rachio sprinklers or Nest, among other things.

At launch, there are already a ton of integrations, including Uber, AngelList, Bitly, Etsy, Foursquare, Google Maps, IMDb, WhoIs, Merriam-Webster, Hue, Powerball, NYT, Weather Channel, Wikipedia, WeMo, XE.com, Wolfram Alpha, Yahoo Finance, Yelp, Zillow and many others, just to give you an idea. Several more are in the works, including access to CrunchBase, Domino’s, Evernote, Gmail and Google Calendar, PayPal and Wunderlist."

Read the full story about Prompt and how it was developed here. Developers can check out Prompt's SDK here.

Konsus (YC W16) is an On-Demand Platform for Highly-Skilled Freelance Workers

Research indicates that 40% of office time is spent on relatively simple tasks such as polishing presentations, data entry and translations. That's a lot of time spent by full-time staff that could be going toward doing things that are more concretely impacting the core business. But since it can be just as time-consuming to find and hire a qualified freelancer, many companies just continue to do things like this themselves.

Konsus is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class whose aim is to do these tasks for companies, freeing up time and saving money. Konsus has built an on-demand freelancer agency that aims to be the Uber for highly-skilled workers.

Biz Carson recently wrote a story about Konsus in Business Insider:

"To save businesses time, Konsus pre-screens and vets the freelancers to work on its platform, making it easy to find help immediately and not go through the back-and-forth hiring phase. For freelancers, it's a big boost to have a constant stream of tasks without having to invest time into responding and competing for job postings. 

The company narrows down its freelance help to 10 core competencies, ranging from website and logo design to data entry. After spending hours scanning freelancer forums all over the web, these tasks accounted for 60% of contract volume, Thomassen said.

When a business chats Konsus a request, a project manager quotes the company a price and puts it into a pool of available tasks. The project manager will be someone from your country, but the task could be sent to freelancers around the world based on their skill set and availability."

Read the full story about Konsus and the problem it is solving on Business Insider here.

Drive Motors (YC W16) Lets You Buy a New Car Completely Online

The process of going in person to a dealership to shop for a new car can be intimidating and time-consuming, to say the least. Drive Motors is a company that is launching out of our Winter 2016 class that lets you bypass that altogether, enabling people to buy cars completely online.

TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote an in-depth story about Drive Motors and how it works recently:

"We’re in the era where everything can be done online, so it’s crazy you can’t buy a new car straight from the web. Every site and startup that claims to help you do that just dumps you on a contact form to request more info or a meeting with a car dealer.

But Drive Motors does exactly what you imagine should already happen. It’s a plugin for car dealer websites. Pick a car you like, and Drive lets you configure options, set up a financing plan, and pay the dealer right there. Then all you do is drop by the lot and pick up your new car. Drive brings the Tesla buying experience to every other car brand.

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. But still, no one had built it right. Car dealerships don’t know their way around tech. Neither do the car manufacturers, and even if they did, the dealerships don’t want to give them any more leverage. Plus, dealerships would want a manufacturer-agnostic system.

So that’s what Drive Motors built. The startup is part of this season’s Y Combinator batch, and has raised a $1.5 million seed round from the accelerator, Khosla Ventures, Propel and Gil Penchina."

Read the full story on TechCrunch here.

UpLabs (YC W16) Brings Designers and Developers Together in one UI Tools Marketplace

The highest quality products are often made when designers and developers work together closely. But the existing communities that these groups use to access site- and app-building tools are often segregated from each other.

UpLabs is a company launching out of our Winter class that brings designers and developers together in one resource marketplace for user interface tools.

Anna Escher wrote about UpLabs in a recent article on TechCrunch:

"UpLabs is a community-powered marketplace that lets designers and developers share ready-to-ship UI resources — like login boxes and payment forms — to build apps and sites.

Originally from France, founders Matt Aussaguel and Guillemette Dejean moved to the U.S. after finding their way into Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 class. They had long felt that existing communities segregate designers and developers in a way that keeps either from working efficiently, and that when they collaborate and understand each other’s constraints, beautiful products are made.

...UpLabs wants to be a resource for developers to learn more about design and to purchase interactive prototypes. Within the UpLabs community, designers and developers can get feedback from each other on live concepts, as well as buy and sell their prototypes."

Read the full story on TechCrunch here.

Thunkable (YC W16) Makes it Super Simple for Anyone to Build a Mobile App

It used to be that only programmers could make websites. But in recent years, millions of websites have been created by non-programmers, as the barrier to entry has been significantly lowered by helpful website building tools.

Thunkable is a company in our current Winter 2016 batch that wants to help facilitate the same phenomenon for building mobile apps: making it so easy that anyone can do it, with a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Thunkable is the commercial version of the MIT App Inventor, a hugely successful project that launched out of MIT five years ago. TechCrunch's Natasha Lomas wrote about Thunkable and its origins in a recently published story:

"So why the fork of the original MIT project now? The success of MIT’s App Inventor meant it had outgrown the resources afforded it within academia, say Thunkable’s co-founders Arun Saigal (CEO) and WeiHua Li (CTO).

Hence the decision to seek to commercialize the core technology under a new name, building atop the MIT open source code with new features they hope will also support their intention to monetize down the line. (To be clear, Thunkable’s code will not be open source, although they say they do hope to take in community contributions in future.)

While MIT App Inventor’s original target was educators and students, offering a free learning tool to lower the barrier of entry to coding, the pair say the success of the software — which has been used to make some 13 million apps at this point, and garnered 4.3 million registered users — called for spinning out of the academic setting."

Read the full story about Thunkable and how it works in TechCrunch here.

Nova (YC W16) Helps Salespeople Send Highly Personalized Emails, at Scale

Many salespeople send out hundreds of impersonal, template-based emails per day in an effort to garner more sales. This is bad for business: It makes a bad first impression, triggers spam blocking, and wastes leads. More personalized emails are vastly more effective, but naturally require much more time.

Nova is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that provides an alternative. Nova is a tool that creates and sends highly personalized emails on behalf of salespeople. According to Nova, this leads to salespeople booking 3x as many meetings by spending half of the time they normally would.

TechCrunch's Lucas Matney wrote about Nova in a story published recently:

"Sometimes generating leads is about finding connections wherever you can. I went to school at X too!' 'X is a great cause, my brother has done some work with them also.' And so on and so forth.

The problem for salespeople is braving the firehose of information available online to find these connection points easily and quickly. YC-backed Nova is an email analytics platform that also uses artificial intelligence to scrape through a contact’s online identity and generate a personalized introductory paragraph that salespeople can add to their pitches.

The software, which integrates directly into a user’s inbox, tracks the rate of opens, clicks, replies and bounces for sales pitches. A key to boost those numbers, Nova CEO Will Dinkel tells me, is email personalization."

Read the full story on TechCrunch here.