11 successful retail brands that are backed by Y Combinator, one of the most competitive seed accelerators in the venture funding world

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Burrow/Instagram

Seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC) has helped produce and support some of the most successful startups in the world today, including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe.

In addition to providing seed funding ($150,000), it works with founders to develop their ideas, make introductions to investors, and offer advice on everything from hiring to intellectual property issues.

Because of its record of proven success, many people in Silicon Valley keep a close eye on the startups being cultivated in YC. As consumers, you should, too, because they provide a glimpse into the tech, retail, education, and healthcare innovations that are about to explode onto the scene.

In consumer retail, YC is behind cool new services and products such as grocery delivery, clothing rental, personalized personal care, and smart-home goods. Learn about the companies below, some of which you might recognize.

YC funds startups in two batches per year, one in the winter and one in the summer. The startups below are ordered by their YC batch, starting from the earliest:


Instacart

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Instacart

Shop for groceries online at Instacart

YC Batch: Summer 2012

Shopping for groceries is pain-free with Instacart, which delivers everything you need on your list from a favorite store near you. It offers exclusive deals to help you save on grocery essentials, and they’ll get to your doorstep on the same day you order. Instacart has raised nearly $2 billion in funding since its launch.


Soylent

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Soylent/Instagram

Shop Soylent at Amazon

YC Batch: Summer 2012

Soylent is the divisive protein- and mineral-packed drink that draws ire for being a pale imitation of a real meal, but also attracts an equally large base of loyal fans for being so convenient to drink. The meal replacers come in cacao, strawberry, and vanilla flavors. Aside from protein drinks, the company now also makes small, 100-calorie bars and protein powder.


Le Tote

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Le Tote

Rent clothing at Le Tote

YC Batch: Summer 2013

Starting at just $79 a month, you can rent clothing and accessories from top brands and keep your closet continually updated. Through this increasingly popular method of updating your wardrobe, you’ll get one or two “totes” (depending on which plan you choose), and you get to wear the pieces as often as you’d like. Le Tote takes care of shipping and cleaning, too.


Goldbelly

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Goldbelly/Instagram

Shop gourmet food gifts at Goldbelly

YC Batch: Winter 2013

Geographic distance is no longer an excuse not to enjoy treats from your favorite city. Instead of stuffing your suitcase with Milk Bar cookies or frozen Lou Malnati deep dish pizzas, you can order these delicious specialties directly from Goldbelly. The options hail from regional shops from coast to coast and make an excellent gift for the foodie in your life.


Eight Sleep

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Eight Sleep

Shop mattresses at Eight Sleep

YC Batch: Summer 2015

With its innovative smart mattress cover, which measures sleep quality, heart rate, and respiratory rate and controls the temperature of your bed, Eight Sleep earns the distinction of the best mattress for the tech-obsessed. You can buy just the cover and place it over a mattress you already love, or buy Eight’s complete bundle. It sells other accessories to help you sleep, including a pillow and blue light-blocking glasses.


Scentbird

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Scentbird/Instagram

Shop perfume and cologne at Scentbird

YC Batch: Summer 2015

If you were to buy and test every single kind of designer fragrance, you’d eventually land on one you really love – and burn through a lot of money in the process. Sample fragrances instead through Scentbird, which gives you a monthly supply of the product for $14.95 a month. It carries authentic brands like Prada, Versace, and Tom Ford.


Platejoy

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Platejoy/Instagram

Create a personal meal plan at Platejoy

YC Batch: Summer 2015

You know your own health goals and dietary restrictions, but it can still be difficult formulating a meal plan by yourself. Platejoy takes the guesswork out of the process and creates one for you for $8 a month. It also supplies you with the grocery list and integrates with fellow YC alum Instacart to get those supplies delivered with you. They account for all types of nutritional plans, including keto, vegan, and allergen-free.


Burrow

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Burrow/Instagram

Shop furniture at Burrow

YC Batch: Summer 2016

Burrow makes sofas for the modern millennial: they’re easy to assemble, they have a modular design that you can add or take away from as your seating needs change, and features like the leg finish and arm style are customizable. It launched with a weave fabric couch, but now also sells luxe, Italian leather sofas.


Function of Beauty

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Function of Beauty/Instagram

Shop custom haircare at Function of Beauty

YC Batch: Winter 2016

Those pretty shampoo and conditioner bottles you see all over Instagram don’t just make your bathroom shelves look nicer. Each formula is specially designed to address your specific hair concerns, whether that’s conditioning, strengthening, volumizing, or color protection. You can also choose the color and fragrance. Though it’s more expensive than regular shampoo, it does make a difference in how your hair looks and feels.


Vinebox

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Vinebox

Shop wine at Vinebox

YC Batch: Winter 2016

The wines from Vinebox instantly stand out in a lineup because they’re bottled in long, single-serving tubes. This design lets you sample many wine varieties (nine, every three months) at once while preserving the wine’s taste and freshness. If you find one you like – and you probably will – you’ll receive credits to buy the full-sized bottle.


Leon & George

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Leon & George/Instagram

Shop indoor plants at Leon & George

YC Batch: Summer 2017

The most convenient way to buy some natural greenery for your room is online at Leon & George. It carries plants of a variety of sizes and care levels, so even if you have a reputation for killing anything green that comes near you, you can still find a plant for you. For every plant bought, the company donates to the National Forest Foundation to plant a tree.