New Y Combinator Class Is Full of APIs

Adam DuVander
Mar. 25 2010, 01:42PM EDT

It's demo time for the two dozen startups from incubator Y Combinator. Though there are many that have yet to launch publicly, the focus of the program is to get quickly from idea to product. It's notable how many have used APIs, either to boost their features or as a forward-thinking move to invite developer collaboration.

Notifo provides "mobile notifications for everything." Right now, that means push messages via its iPhone app. Rather than alerts that are specific to an app, it creates a platform upon which developers can build. Push.ly is an example implementation, which connects Notifo to Twitter search, sending a notification whenever someone references you in a tweet.

Crocodoc is a service to help people collaborate on documents. The editor can be embedded into a web page. Then, with the Crocodoc API, you can upload, embed and delete documents programmatically.

The bulk of Zencoder's useful service comes via its API. The site provides video encoding at six cents per minute of video. That means your site can accept uploads and then let Zencoder worry about formats. We wrote about services that take care of the harder stuff in Infrastructure APIs: New Site in a Box.

In addition to those above with APIs, a healthy percentage of Y Combinator companies are using APIs. Some examples:

  • 140Bets is using Twitter to manage bets between users.
  • Greplin connects to Facebook, Twitter, GMail and more to index your own data and make it searchable.
  • Etacts helps maintain connections by working on top of GMail.
  • Embedster helps you monetize embeddable content, such as YouTube videos. A similar-sounding Y Combinator project that has yet to launch is Embed.ly.

The full list of companies can be found at VentureBeat.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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