11 months ago
Trends from the Winter 2022 Demo Day at Y Combinators
Y Combinators Winter 2022 Demo Day continues the trend of more startups engaging in accelerator Demo Days. Our team evaluated almost 400 projects in Y Combinator's ninth year.
After Winter 2021 Demo Day, we noticed a hurry pushing shorter rounds, inflated valuations, and larger batches.
Despite the batch size, this event's behavior showed a return to normalcy. Our observations show that investors evaluate and fund businesses more carefully. Unlike previous years, more YC businesses gave investors with data rooms and thorough pitch decks in addition to valuation data before Demo Day.
Demo Day pitches were virtual and fast-paced, limiting unplanned meetings. Investors had more time and information to do their due research before meeting founders. Our staff has more time to study diverse areas and engage with interesting entrepreneurs and founders.
This was one of the most regionally diversified YC cohorts to date. This year's Winter Demo Day startups showed some interesting tendencies.
Trends and Industries to Watch Before Demo Day
Demo day events at any accelerator show how investment competition is influencing startups. As startups swiftly become scale-ups and big success stories in fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, and other competitive industries, entrepreneurs and early-stage investors feel pressure to scale quickly and turn a notion into actual innovation.
Too much eagerness can lead founders to focus on market growth and team experience instead of solid concepts, technical expertise, and market validation. Last year, YC Winter Demo Day funding cycles ended too quickly and valuations were unrealistically high.
Scrum Ventures observed a longer funding cycle this year compared to last year's Demo Day. While that seems promising, many factors could be contributing to change, including:
Market patterns are changing and the economy is becoming worse.
the industries that investors are thinking about.
Individual differences between each event batch and the particular businesses and entrepreneurs taking part
The Winter 2022 Batch's Trends
Each year, we also wish to examine trends among early-stage firms and YC event participants. More international startups than ever were anticipated to present at Demo Day.
Less than 50% of demo day startups were from the U.S. For the S21 batch, firms from outside the US were most likely in Latin America or Europe, however this year's batch saw a large surge in startups situated in Asia and Africa.
YC Startup Directory
163 out of 399 startups were B2B software and services companies. Financial, healthcare, and consumer startups were common.
Our team doesn't plan to attend every pitch or speak with every startup's founders or team members. Let's look at cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startup trends.
Our Opinions Following Conversations with 87 Startups at Demo Day
In the lead-up to Demo Day, we spoke with 87 of the 125 startups going. Compared to B2C enterprises, B2B startups had higher average valuations. A few outliers with high valuations pushed B2B and B2C means above the YC-wide mean and median.
Many of these startups develop business and technology solutions we've previously covered. We've seen API, EdTech, creative platforms, and cybersecurity remain strong and increase each year.
While these persistent tendencies influenced the startups Scrum Ventures looked at and the founders we interacted with on Demo Day, new trends required more research and preparation. Let's examine cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startups.
Hardware and software that is green
Cleantech enterprises demand varying amounts of funding for hardware and software. Although the same overarching trend is fueling the growth of firms in this category, each subgroup has its own strategy and technique for investigation and identifying successful investments.
Many cleantech startups we spoke to during the YC event are focused on helping industrial operations decrease or recycle carbon emissions.
Carbon Crusher: Creating carbon negative roads
Phase Biolabs: Turning carbon emissions into carbon negative products and carbon neutral e-fuels
Seabound: Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from ships
Fleetzero: Creating electric cargo ships
Impossible Mining: Sustainable seabed mining
Beyond Aero: Creating zero-emission private aircraft
Verdn: Helping businesses automatically embed environmental pledges for product and service offerings, boost customer engagement
AeonCharge: Allowing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to more easily locate and pay for EV charging stations
Phoenix Hydrogen: Offering a hydrogen marketplace and a connected hydrogen hub platform to connect supply and demand for hydrogen fuel and simplify hub planning and partner program expansion
Aklimate: Allowing businesses to measure and reduce their supply chain’s environmental impact
Pina Earth: Certifying and tracking the progress of businesses’ forestry projects
AirMyne: Developing machines that can reverse emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the air
Unravel Carbon: Software for enterprises to track and reduce their carbon emissions
Web3: NFTs, the metaverse, and cryptocurrency
Web3 technologies handle a wide range of business issues. This category includes companies employing blockchain technology to disrupt entertainment, finance, cybersecurity, and software development.
Many of these startups overlap with YC's FinTech trend. Despite this, B2C and B2B enterprises were evenly represented in Web3. We examined:
Stablegains: Offering consistent interest on cash balance from the decentralized finance (DeFi) market
LiquiFi: Simplifying token management with automated vesting contracts, tax reporting, and scheduling. For companies, investors, and finance & accounting
NFTScoring: An NFT trading platform
CypherD Wallet: A multichain wallet for crypto and NFTs with a non-custodial crypto debit card that instantly converts coins to USD
Remi Labs: Allowing businesses to more easily create NFT collections that serve as access to products, memberships, events, and more
Cashmere: A crypto wallet for Web3 startups to collaboratively manage funds
Chaingrep: An API that makes blockchain data human-readable and tokens searchable
Courtyard: A platform for securely storing physical assets and creating 3D representations as NFTs
Arda: “Banking as a Service for DeFi,” an API that FinTech companies can use to embed DeFi products into their platforms
earnJARVIS: A premium cryptocurrency management platform, allowing users to create long-term portfolios
Mysterious: Creating community-specific experiences for Web3 Discords
Winter: An embeddable widget that allows businesses to sell NFTs to users purchasing with a credit card or bank transaction
SimpleHash: An API for NFT data that provides compatibility across blockchains, standardized metadata, accurate transaction info, and simple integration
Lifecast: Tools that address motion sickness issues for 3D VR video
Gym Class: Virtual reality (VR) multiplayer basketball video game
WorldQL: An asset API that allows NFT creators to specify multiple in-game interpretations of their assets, increasing their value
Bonsai Desk: A software development kit (SDK) for 3D analytics
Campfire: Supporting virtual social experiences for remote teams
Unai: A virtual headset and Visual World experience
Vimmerse: Allowing creators to more easily create immersive 3D experiences
Fitness and health
Scrum Ventures encountered fewer health and wellness startup founders than Web3 and Cleantech. The types of challenges these organizations solve are still diverse. Several of these companies are part of a push toward customization in healthcare, an area of biotech set for growth for companies with strong portfolios and experienced leadership.
Here are several startups we considered:
Syrona Health: Personalized healthcare for women in the workplace
Anja Health: Personalized umbilical cord blood banking and stem cell preservation
Alfie: A weight loss program focused on men’s health that coordinates medical care, coaching, and “community-based competition” to help users lose an average of 15% body weight
Ankr Health: An artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled telehealth platform that provides personalized side effect education for cancer patients and data collection for their care teams
Koko — A personalized sleep program to improve at-home sleep analysis and training
Condition-specific telehealth platforms and programs:
Reviving Mind: Chronic care management covered by insurance and supporting holistic, community-oriented health care
Equipt Health: At-home delivery of prescription medical equipment to help manage chronic conditions like obstructive sleep apnea
LunaJoy: Holistic women’s healthcare management for mental health therapy, counseling, and medication
12 Startups from YC's Winter 2022 Demo Day to Watch
Bobidi: 10x faster AI model improvement
Artificial intelligence (AI) models have become a significant tool for firms to improve how well and rapidly they process data. Bobidi helps AI-reliant firms evaluate their models, boosting data insights in less time and reducing data analysis expenditures. The business has created a gamified community that offers a bug bounty for AI, incentivizing community members to test and find weaknesses in clients' AI models.
Magna: DeFi investment management and token vesting
Magna delivers rapid, secure token vesting so consumers may turn DeFi investments into primitives. Carta for Web3 allows enterprises to effortlessly distribute tokens to staff or investors. The Magna team hopes to allow corporations use locked tokens as collateral for loans, facilitate secondary liquidity so investors can sell shares on a public exchange, and power additional DeFi applications.
Perl Street: Funding for infrastructure
This Fintech firm intends to help hardware entrepreneurs get financing by [democratizing] structured finance, unleashing billions for sustainable infrastructure and next-generation hardware solutions. This network has helped hardware entrepreneurs achieve more than $140 million in finance, helping companies working on energy storage devices, EVs, and creating power infrastructure.
CypherD: Multichain cryptocurrency wallet
CypherD seeks to provide a multichain crypto wallet so general customers can explore Web3 products without knowledge hurdles. The startup's beta app lets consumers access crypto from EVM blockchains. The founders have crypto, financial, and startup experience.
Unravel Carbon: Enterprise carbon tracking and offsetting
Unravel Carbon's AI-powered decarbonization technology tracks companies' carbon emissions. Singapore-based startup focuses on Asia. The software can use any company's financial data to trace the supply chain and calculate carbon tracking, which is used to make regulatory disclosures and suggest carbon offsets.
LunaJoy: Precision mental health for women
LunaJoy helped women obtain mental health support throughout life. The platform combines data science to create a tailored experience, allowing women to access psychotherapy, medication management, genetic testing, and health coaching.
Posh: Automated EV battery recycling
Posh attempts to solve one of the EV industry's largest logistical difficulties. Millions of EV batteries will need to be decommissioned in the next decade, and their precious metals and residual capacity will go unused for some time. Posh offers automated, scalable lithium battery disassembly, making EV battery recycling more viable.
Unai: VR headset with 5x higher resolution
Unai stands apart from metaverse companies. Its VR headgear has five times the resolution of existing options and emphasizes human expression and interaction in a remote world. Maxim Perumal's method of latency reduction powers current VR headsets.
Palitronica: Physical infrastructure cybersecurity
Palitronica blends cutting-edge hardware and software to produce networked electronic systems that support crucial physical and supply chain infrastructure. The startup's objective is to build solutions that defend national security and key infrastructure from cybersecurity threats.
Reality Defender: Deepfake detection
Reality Defender alerts firms to bogus users and changed audio, video, and image files. Reality Deference's API and web app score material in real time to prevent fraud, improve content moderation, and detect deception.
Micro Meat: Infrastructure for the manufacture of cell-cultured meat
MicroMeat promotes sustainable meat production. The company has created technologies to scale up bioreactor-grown meat muscle tissue from animal cells. Their goal is to scale up cultured meat manufacturing so cultivated meat products can be brought to market feasibly and swiftly, boosting worldwide meat consumption.
Fleetzero: Electric cargo ships
This startup's battery technology will make cargo ships more sustainable and profitable. Fleetzero's electric cargo ships have five times larger profit margins than fossil fuel ships. Fleetzeros' founder has marine engineering, ship operations, and enterprise sales and business experience.