As an angel investor, Friedman has put money into companies like Instacart, Parse, FundersClub, Rickshaw, Zesty, and Expedite. In 2005, he joined the ranks of entrepreneurs when he and his partners — Tikhon Bernstam and Trip Adler — started a document sharing service called Scribd.
Dubbed by some as the “Netflix for books,” Scribd has gone on to amass an audience of 80 million users, thanks to its expansion into audiobooks, and book deals with major publishers like Macmillan. The company joined Y Combinator in the summer of 2006, which is fitting, since the organization has a history of tapping program alumni — like Sam Altman, Justin Kan, Gerry Tan, and Qasar Younis — to become partners.
Friedman took a sabbatical from Scribd in July 2015.
Y Combinator has been on a roll adding new partners, both full- and part-time. Last month it added three new members to its inner circle, including Pinterest chief executive and cofounder Ben Silbermann, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, and 23andMe cofounder Anne Wojcicki.
“Sam has a vision for putting YC at the center of all kinds of innovation, and you can see it emerging piece by piece,” Friedman wrote in a blog post. “Much like when I read PG’s essays a decade ago, it’s inspired me all over again to believe in the power of a small group of individuals to create the future.”
The addition of Friedman brings Y Combinator’s headcount for full-time partners to 16.
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