List of YC Companies that started as a Chrome Extension

Ever scrolling through Twitter, reading about all those startups getting funded, and daydreaming about being on the headlines one day? Yeah? So you contemplate whether you can build something that can be used by the masses and solve a bigger problem.

While monetizing your developer skills seems rather easy these days, thanks to freelancing, generating a business idea and model out of a small side project, on the other hand, still has a good amount of uncertainty around it.

To (git) push your motivation in pursuing that small side project, here’s a list of companies backed by Y Combinator that got started as Chrome Extensions!

Text Blaze

Writing automation

TextBlaze saves you from typing the same thing again and again by letting you create shortcuts for a message you use frequently. While this sounds simple, it also helps you in placing the current date, autopilot, snippet preview, and a lot more in just a Chrome extension.

Source: TextBlaze

RescueTime

Productivity

Founded in 2007, RescueTime is made to help people keep track of where and how much time they spend on different websites and applications. They got backed by Y Combinator in 2008 and have since then introduced desktop apps for Windows and macOS devices.

Source: RescueTime

Requestly

Developer Tools

Requestly is a Cross-Platform tool for API testing and debugging and a better alternative to Charles proxy. Founded in 2018 and part of the Winter ’22 batch of YC, the founder says that he had never thought that this small idea would end up being used by 100K+ users.

Source: Requestly

Encarte

E-commerce

Encarte comes in with the 1 Click Checkout idea where when you wish to purchase a product, you just have to click on the Encarte chrome extension and buy the product without the hassle of creating an account.

Source: Encarte

PreFlight

Developer Tools

PreFlight is a no-code automated testing tool that includes not only functionality checks but also UI testing. It also offers scheduled testing, cross-browser checks, and responsiveness. Founded in 2018, it has a Chrome extension that also allows you to record your tests.

Source: PreFlight

Motion

Productivity

Motion came in with freeing users from the ‘one page per tab’ (Source) concept by building an extension for Chrome where you could open any web app/page from the web app/page you’re currently in, without switching tabs. Since being founded in 2019 and supported by YC in 2020, it has progressed to be useful not just to Chrome users but whoever is willing to let them help in managing their calendars.

Source: Motion

Compose.ai

AI-powered autocomplete

Compose AI aims at cutting your writing time by 40% through their Chrome extension. Founded in 2020, it promises to learn your voice and write for you including contextually aware suggestions that know when you’re drafting an email and when a casual slack message.

Source: Compose.ai

Sleek

E-commerce

Founded in 2021, Sleek aims to offer ease of checkouts and cashback rewards. Part of the YC Summer ’21 batch, it offers to keep track of all your transactions and manage a spendings tracker, all from a Chrome Extension

Source: Sleek

Smartcuts

Automation tool

Smartcuts is a tool for automating anything you want on your browser. It keeps track of your clicks and engagements on a page and lets you replay them whenever you want them to. It aims at reducing your repetitive tasks without any code.

Source: Smartcuts

Omni

AI-powered Knowledgement Management

Founded in 2019, Omni is built to help Sales teams to close deals faster by having access to important information as quickly as possible. It lets one search through all their knowledge bases at once removing the hassle of going to different places to find necessary documents.

Source: Omni

These were just some companies who got started with a small Chrome Extension and now are helping millions of users across the globe. So the next time you doubt your project idea think of these companies and keep pursuing them!

Thank you for reading!