Last week, Dropbox became the first Y Combinator-funded company to hatch an IPO from the famed incubator’s golden ray of VC-funded light, raising $756m.
Incubator to IPO: A Silicon Valley love story
11 years ago, Drew Houston was an exhausted co-founder working on his first startup when he began hacking together scripts for what would later become Dropbox.
After being previously rejected by Y Combinator, Houston was admitted to the ‘07 batch — provide he could find a co-founder. So in just a few weeks, Houston found Arash Ferdowsi, and they met in person for only a handful of hours before tying the co-founder knot.
Thirteen-year-old Y Combinator is one of Silicon Valley’s most competitive startup incubators, with a lower acceptance rate (1.5%) than Harvard University.
Dropbox is the incubator’s first company to IPO, but it typically takes close to a decade for large tech companies to go public (Microsoft took 11 years, Oracle 9, and Google 6).
So, Dropbox may be just the first of many chicks (including Stripe, Airbnb, Instacart, and Zenefits) in Y Combinator’s flock to leave the private nest.