It is not everyday that US business magazine Fast Company includes a quote in Spanish in one of its articles. Yet, it is precisely what it did in its feature story on Y Combinator’s president Sam Altman, which opened with a snippet overheard during the recording of our weekly tech podcast Platzi Live.
As a matter of fact, writer Max Chafkin did us the honor of picking us up as one of the most telling examples of YC’s renewed ambitions.
Here’s how he summed up Platzi:
Vega and Van Der Henst founded Platzi in BogotÃ¡, Colombia, offering classes in subjects such as digital marketing and web design, live-streaming them online. Right now, Platzi has 80,000 monthly viewers and 15,000 paying customers, and is on track to take in $1.5 million this year. Unlike well-funded competitors such as Coursera and Udacity, which have struggled to get more than 10% of students to finish courses (and which use prerecorded video), 70% of Platzi students complete their classes, an astounding figure in online ed.
Chafkin’s story also explained quite efficiently why joining YC was the best way for Platzi to put itself on Silicon Valley’s radar:
Vega, the companyâ€™s CEO, knew that the best way to be more than merely big in BogotÃ¡ was to fill out a short application form and send it to Y Combinator, the startup factory that has emerged as the most effective gateway to Silicon Valley success. Last December, Platzi was one of just 114 startups selected for the three-month program, out of 5,600 applications. Before, Vega wouldnâ€™t have dreamed of getting five minutes with a big-name Silicon Valley investor. But here he is, promising viewers an audience with Sam Altman, Y Combinatorâ€™s presidente.
Chafkin’s article is part of ‘The YC Chronicles’, a series of posts on Y Combinator which is well worth reading in its entirety. Big thanks to Max Chafkin for his writing!