Altman is interviewed at Startup Grind. He talks about how YC has yet to miss picking a unicorn company in the application process.
We track this obsessively through. We have custom software that just tracks this. There are a few companies that are doing pretty well but we have not yet missed a billion dollar company…The thing that makes me sad is I’m sure there’s someone that we would have funded that we didn’t, that had we funded, would have been a multi billion dollar company. Probably many of those. There are a lot of companies that we fund that if we didn’t fund them, they just would never have happened.
On raising capital:
Generally you want to raise capital either when you have to or when it’s really easy. If the company desperately needs money and they can’t figure out any other way, then they need to raise money. Or if someone’s offering you easy money on good terms, you should take it because you can use it for good things…We are the most successful when we fund things that other people don’t yet think are going to be a really big deal but two years later become a big deal,” Altman says. “And it’s really hard to predict that.