YC launched a co-founder matching platform about 3 months ago. There are now 16,000 co-founder profiles on the platform. Potential co-founders have sent 130,000 matching invites through the platform, and, with a 25% acceptance rate, we’ve seen a total of 33,000 matches.
We now have enough data to identify some interesting trends among our co-founder profiles and matches.
We give founders the option to mark their preferences for a co-founder across several attributes, including:
Founders also indicate how important each attribute is: whether it’s a must-have, whether they have a preference but are flexible, or whether they don’t care at all.
The two most important attributes: 79% of founders care that their co-founder can commit a certain number of hours over the next few weeks, and 74% of founders prefer to have shared interests with their co-founder. However, only 15% and 13% see these attributes as must-haves, respectively.
The least important attribute? 50% of founders don’t care where their co-founder is located, perhaps a sign of the (newly remote) times.
Each founder can select interests from the following list: Agriculture/Agtech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (ARVR), B2B/Enterprise, Biomedical/Biotech, Blockchain, Consumer, E-Commerce, Education/Edtech, Energy, Entertainment, Financial/Fintech, Government, Hardware, Hard Tech, Healthcare, Marketplace, Non-Profit.
The top 6 most popular interests:
Most founders select several interests; the median number of interests selected is 3. Interestingly, the most popular interests among founders who pick only 1 interest look different:
Founders on the co-founder matching platform can claim responsibility in five areas of skill: Product, Design, Engineering, Sales and Marketing, Operations.
Here’s what founders want from their co-founder:
Engineers seem to be in high demand. Among founders who do not do Engineering, 80% prefer a co-founder who does Engineering. Even engineers themselves are looking for more engineers: 44% of Engineering founders prefer a co-founder who does Engineering.
Engineers are also looking for complementary skills though: 74% of Engineering founders prefer a co-founder who does Sales and Marketing, and 53% of Engineering founders prefer a co-founder who does Operations.
The majority of matches (68%) are made up of a technical founder paired with a non-technical founder. A bigger majority of matches (72%) are made up of founders with at least one shared interest. An even greater portion of matches (73%) are made up of a founder with an idea they’re working on paired with a founder not glued to an idea.
55% of matches comprise founders located in the same country. 69% of matches are between founders in the same continent, and 61% of matches are composed of founders located within 3 time zones of each other. The rest, apparently, are from all over the world.
73% of matches contain at least one full-time founder, and 92% of matches contain at least one founder who is “active” (working on a startup idea now) rather than “aspiring” (plan to work on a startup later).
Finally, it seems that founders on the site are extremely active: 75% of all matches are accepted within 4.5 days of the initial invitation, and 50% of matches are accepted within 22 hours. Of the matches where founders indicate having met up either online or in person, 50% met within 6.2 days.
If you are looking for a co-founder, come check out the co-founder matching platform! Sign up at https://www.ycombinator.com/cofounder-matching.
Catheryn (Cat) is a Product Engineer at YC focused on Startup School. Before that she was an engineer at Instagram and Facebook. Cat has a B.S. in Computer Science and Math from MIT.
Katherine is a Product Engineer at Y Combinator, working on the Startup School team. Prior to YC, she was a co-founder and software engineer at OpenLattice.