LifestyleYC’s $500k Standard Deal

YC’s $500k Standard Deal


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We have a new standard deal at Y Combinator. When a company is accepted into the YC batch program, we now invest a total of $500,000. We still invest $125,000 for 7% and now also invest an additional $375,000 on an uncapped safe with an MFN.

This is the type of deal that we have wanted to offer YC founders for years — and with the recent success of YC companies, including ten IPOs in 2021 and more to come this year, we are now able to do so. This sum will enable founders to focus on launching, building, and scaling their company. It will remove the immediate pressure to fundraise and accept less than favorable terms.

Incidentally, we also hope that this deal will encourage more founders of any age and from every demographic group and geographic location to take the leap into the startup world, apply to YC, and build their own successful startup.

Dalton Caldwell, YC’s Managing Director, Architect, and long-term Group Partner, who first suggested that now was the right time to make this change, also pointed out that if founders stay lean, this is more than enough capital to survive for years, regardless of the economic environment.

Our founding principles state that YC’s value is “the number of startups we help times how much we help them.” More startups in the world is a good thing — and for the founders of those startups, we’re always iterating to improve our program. This terrific deal will make it even more likely that they find product market fit, raise a successful seed round, and build a world-changing technology company.

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The $375,000 is on an uncapped safe with “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) terms. MFN means that this safe will take on the terms of the lowest cap safe (or other most favorable terms) that is issued between the start of the batch and the next equity round. Simply put, we’re giving the company money now but at terms you’ll negotiate with future investors.

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  1. Going by my memory, when YC started they invested 5K per founder. It was, either by accident or design, focused on 20-somethings eating ramen and dreaming big. You could not do much else on 5K.

    There may have been many (myself included) who thought "give up a cushty job, and even if I get in, don't get back much more than the cost of flights to Boston"

    Does this signal that its harder to find those young hungry geniuses? Or that other stages of life are now predominating?

    I would be fascinated to see a demographic breakdown of YC / SV founders …

    Edit: the thing is it breaks my clever idea of A Million Startups. So i had a clever idea a while back, (I think when Softbank wrote off 10BN?). 10BN is about the right amount to fund a million startups. 100K in India, 100K in SE Asia etc etc. You could assume a 50% fail rate at each "stage" and put in 5K to each of a million startups, and then 2.5BN, then 1.5BN etc etc. I am not sure what kicking off a million bright young things would do to the world, but I think it is a worthwhile way to waste 10BN

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