2022 YC Year in Review

In 2022, most of the world freed itself from the shackles of the COVID pandemic, everyone struggled with inflation, and a war broke out in Europe. Here at YC we took things in stride and recruited our summer and winter batches as always. We also slowly began to bring back that very human thing we used to do: meeting in person. For the S22 batch, we instituted a beginning-of-batch retreat and weekly meetups. For ourselves, we opened a new office in San Francisco.

We funded over 650 startups in 2022 from over 40 countries and in just about every vertical you can imagine, from BtoB SaaS to web or app-based consumer services, to dev tools to educational technology, and more. Every company was offered our now standard deal of $500k. As we continue to live in troubled times, economic and otherwise, this amount of capital alone will usually be sufficient to tide thrifty startups over until better times.

As of today, there are 16 public YC companies, Presto and Rigetti Computing joined the club this year.  In March, Rigetti Computing (S14) went public. Rigetti is one of the earliest and most successful quantum computing platforms. In September, Presto (S10) also went public. Presto offers automation solutions to restaurants around the world.

Our top companies list grew by over 150 companies in 2022. On that list, there are now 316 alumni valued at over $150M, and of those, 80 are valued at over $1B. Even after the pullback in public markets, the total value of YC companies is over $600B.

Several YC companies had significant exits via an acquisition. Here are highlights:

  • The Athletic (S16) was acquired by The New York Times
  • Codecademy  (S11) was acquired by Skillsoft
  • Lever (S12) was acquired by Employ
  • Bonfire (W15) was acquired by GI Partners
  • NURX (W16) was acquired by Thirty Madison
  • Zenefits (W13) was acquired by TriNet
  • Cognito (S14) was acquired by Plaid
  • Dharma Labs (S17) was acquired by OpenSea
  • Pry Financials (W21) was acquired by Brex
  • Gobble (W14) was acquired by Intelligent Foods
  • Phiar (S18) was acquired by Google

Starting in 2015, YC began making follow-on investments in many YC companies as they scaled their businesses. In 2022 we made first-since-batch investments in OpenSea, Convictional, Salt Security, Webflow, Zip, Breadfast, and others not yet announced. We also increased our investment in a number of terrific YC companies, including Faire, Vanta, and Zepto.

Our programs, notably our batch program, underwent important changes in 2022. In March of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted our batch program from an in-person Mountain View program to an all-virtual program with YC founders remaining in their locales around the world. As the pandemic eased its grip this past summer, we instituted new ways for the S22 batch to meet each other, YC alumni, YC group partners, and other YC employees. The batch kicked off with a retreat and each week there was a meetup in San Francisco. We will continue to evolve the program next year and create more in-person opportunities.

Other YC programs also improved in 2022. Our Startup School course reinstituted live sessions and made major changes to our co-founder matching site. We also organized dozens of meetups around the world so founders could find other founders within their local communities.

Our Work at a Startup site experienced impressive growth, with thousands of companies, thousands of jobs, and tens of thousands of applicants. The team ran hiring events all year long and also created a knowledge base on hiring — perfect for founders who are just getting their companies started.

And in June, YC launched a new product, called, not coincidentally, Launch YC. Startups can launch publicly on the site as soon as they’re funded by YC, and to date over 300 companies have used it to announce new products. Launch YC is making it easier for investors, future employees, and potential customers to discover the next top YC companies.

Lastly, in September I announced that I would be handing over the reins at YC to my esteemed friend and former colleague, Garry Tan. Despite the economic headwinds of 2022, there has never been a better time to start a startup and my confidence in the YC platform has never been higher. Working with YC founders never ceases to inspire me and I will miss so much about working at YC. Above all, I will miss working with the brilliant, warm, friendly, and dedicated people who work here.

YC’s future is in terrific hands, and it has been my privilege to be part of such a special institution; one that I trust will last many decades into the future helping extraordinary founders make all sorts of things that all sorts of people want.

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