Betabeat Investigates

Playing the Mystery Startup Guessing Game: Which New York App Wants to ‘End Loneliness’?

Mr. Waxman. (Photo: Twitter)

Would you answer this mysteriously vague job listing? “Hackers seek hackers in NYC for absurdly fun + challenging startup” is the title of this ad for a Y Combinator startup that claims to already be funded by “some of the best investors in the world” and is now seeking “social hackers.” The ad, a repeat of a listing posted back in April, is at the top of the Hacker News forum. Read More

Social Networking

Grouper Sets You Up With Three Facebook Strangers, But ‘It’s Not a Date’

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Co-founders Jerry Guo and Michael Waxman like to joke that Grouper is a Y Combinator-funded startup. That’s because they didn’t come up with the idea for Grouper–a social service that sets you and two friends up with three strangers based on your Facebook profile–until they got rejected from YC. “We took our $400 travel reimbursement check from YC and used that as seed capital for Grouper,” Mr. Guo told Betabeat via gChat.

Does that mean Grouper is a pivot?? “Lol,” he wrote, “It’s a completely new concept. We applied to YC with paperbuff.com. In the 36 hours before our interview, we ditched paperbuff and built qomments.com, were rejected, then decided to build a product people would actually want (*measured by charging for it).”

Indeed, Grouper, which just launched out of beta in New York today, was profitable after just 60 days. Read More