Welcome to another episode of The Coral Capital Podcast, a show about startups, technology, and venture capital with a focus on Japan and Asia broadly.
In this episode, we chat with Michael Seibel, the Managing Director and CEO of Y Combinator (or, “YC”). YC, one of the top startup accelerators in the world, has invested in over 3,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $400B.
Michael was the cofounder of two startups, Justin.tv and Socialcam. Socialcam sold to Autodesk in 2012 and Justin.tv became Twitch.tv and sold to Amazon in 2014. Michael graduated from Yale University with a BA in political science.
In this episode we discuss:
- What makes YC so special for founders
- How YC classes have become increasingly global in recent years
- Why there have only been 584 applications from Japan in YC’s 16 year history
- Why YC doesn’t (yet) invest in Japan domiciled companies (“Kabushiki Gaisha”)
- Why the domicile of the company may or may not matter!
- Why Japanese startups may struggle to compete globally
- How Japan’s startup environment is evolving
- Why software startups take the lion’s share of funding