I’m thrilled to announce that Orange Collective has made 16 investments in the YC S23 batch. This marks 30 investments for our first year.
The S23 batch took off in June, on the heels of the SVB and First Republic collapse.
The atmosphere around startups was tense, and 4 months later, it remains very uncertain.
Still, founder optimism is hard to kill. 492 entrepreneurs took a leap of faith and fully engaged with the YC S23 experience.
Watching this unfold as an alum was interesting. With new leadership at the helm, we noticed changes happening. As alums, we were sometimes aware of developments behind the scenes —and shared what we knew with each other. An example of one significant change was an apparent shift in the admissions process. A majority of founders we knew went through two or three rounds of interviews to secure their spot in YC, rather than the previous one-and-done approach. Later in the summer, YC introduced another change by allowing early AI applicants for W24.
Overall, it became clear that the bar was being raised, and that sentiment proved to be accurate. S23 was an impressive cohort, and we feel fortunate to have invested in these exceptional companies.
At OC, we aim to harness the collective wisdom of YC alumni to make bets on what we believe to be the top 10% of the batch.
In our summer investments, clear themes emerged, offering a glimpse into the interests of our alumni community.
AI was the standout focus among the 229 companies admitted to S23, and it comes as no surprise that our alumni group shared a deep interest in AI as well. In fact, all 16 of our investments are in AI companies.
HealthTech (both hardware and software) was also compelling, with two of our portfolio companies building medical devices and robots, and two others focusing on marketplaces and platforms.
Fintech, DevTools, and B2B SaaS (particularly sales enablement SaaS), were other major areas of interest for our alumni group, as reflected in our investment decisions.
Not on the list this time (but potentially on the radar for future) are consumer, edtech, proptech, retail, ecommerce, climate, and other sectors.
As a new investor, Orange Collective has given me valuable exposure into the investment process, and a fresh perspective on working with founders. It's also deepened my appreciation for the entrepreneurial journey. 🚀
Our close-knit alumni network in OC is not only active but deeply engaged. They enthusiastically point to companies they're excited about, ask challenging questions that push our thinking, and offer contextual subject matter expertise that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Orange Collective acts fast — comitting to invest (or not) within 48 hours after a meeting. This is the kind of No BS process I appreciated most as a founder, and is important for us to provide being on the other side.
Amazingly, the founders we were excited about showed the same level of trust in us, welcoming OC to be part of their journey. We can’t wait to see where these companies go. 🌠
We’re currently raising Fund II to make investments into YC’s 2024 batches.
We have a limited number of alumni spots open for OC2024. Interested YC alums can apply here or reach out to email@example.com with any questions. 🧡