Big Fish remains the biggest fish in the Seattle startup community. The Seattle game maker leads the February update to the GeekWire 200, our ranking of the top 200 companies in the region based on publicly available information from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other sources. It marks the third consecutive month that Big Fish has led the GeekWire 200.

gw200Among the news highlights from companies on the list, (#88) raised a $7 million funding round; Tier 3 (#51) named technology veteran Matthew Schiltz as CEO; Simply Measured (#84) raised $8 million; and Bainbridge Island tax software company Avalara (#12) made yet another acquisition.

Elsewhere in the top 50, entertainment news startup Wetpaint made a big move, to the No. 11 slot, as the LinkedIn data taken into account by the index showed an increase in its employee count.

Other big movers included photo editing service PicMonkey, which now has more than 714,000 Facebook likes, more than any other company on the index. PicMonkey has added more than 24,000 Facebook likes in the last two weeks alone, according to data from Seattle-area analytics startup RivalIQ, whose service we’re using to glean additional insights into the companies on the index.

Of course, every list comes with shortcomings and debate, and it’s important to keep in mind that this is not meant as an exact measure of the importance of the companies in the region. However, we do think it offers an interesting snapshot of the Seattle startup community. Many of the companies toward the top of the index are candidates for public offerings, and others are likely buyout candidates.

One of the cool things about the ranking, which we relaunched a couple months ago, is that the top 25 shows off the diversity of the region’s tech community. Everything from e-commerce (Zulily #2) to enterprise software (Apptio #6) to hardware (Contour #21) are represented. You can also sort the index by industry category or social metrics to see, for example, which enterprise software company on the list has the most LinkedIn followers.

We’re going to be slicing and dicing the data in all sorts of interesting ways in the coming months, highlighting the rankings in various categories and sectors. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out the full list here.

Some important background: The GeekWire 200 is calculated using an algorithm that takes into account public data including employee numbers, social media stats and inbound links to each company’s website. The companies on the GeekWire 200 are drawn from our much larger GeekWire Startup List, a directory of more than 700 tech-oriented startups in the region.

To make sure your startup is eligible for inclusion in the GeekWire 200, first make sure it’s included on the Startup List. If so, there’s no need to submit it separately for the GeekWire 200. If your Seattle-area startup isn’t among the companies on that larger list, you can submit it for inclusion here, and our algorithm will also crunch the numbers to see if your company makes next month’s GeekWire 200.

Check out the full GeekWire 200 list here.

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  • FrankCatalano

    So one useful enhancement would be the ability to track movement of a startup on the GeekWire 200 list by rank, month to month. If there’s a way to do it, I’m afraid I couldn’t find it (easily). A suggestion.

    • Todd Bishop

      Thanks, Frank, totally agreed.

      We actually tested this feature via the development team at Fresh Consulting, and had it ready to go for this update, but John and I decided to hold off until next month because the index isn’t quite yet solid enough to put a ton of stock in every last month-to-month movement.

      We’re still learning, and tuning the algorithm based on what we learn, and we don’t want to send the wrong signals or leave incorrect impressions based on big jumps one way or another.

      Thanks for the suggestion!


    • Kyle Kesterson

      Yeah this is a great idea, looking forward to seeing it happen.

      I had to calculate Freak’n Genius’s rise manually. We have advanced at approximately 2.03 spots per day, which means we should be #1 in a little over 3 months!! :)

  • Guest

    I’d like to see the GeekWire 200 sponsored by Fresh Consulting become more of a prediction market. Using money, I’d like to “buy” and “sell” these companies. The most-bought company would become the most “valuable” startup in Seattle. This prediction market would be a more meaningful representation of importance than, say, counting a company’s Twister followers or MySpace friends.

    • johnhcook

      That’s a pretty interesting concept, really. It could be “gamed” by employees of a company, but I like the general direction and creativity. As Todd noted below, we are still tweaking and refining the list in many ways. Thanks for the comment.

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