Several of the Seattle region’s largest technology companies improved their positions in the new update to the GeekWire 200, our monthly index tracking the Seattle region’s privately-held technology companies.

gw200Moving up two positions and breaking into the top 10 was Avalara, thanks in part to a jump in external links to the sales tax software company site. Online real estate company Redfin, which recently expanded its business with a new title and escrow subsidiary, also advanced two places to the No. 6 position. And digital signature company Docusign advanced one place into the No. 3 position on the index, with a big jump in LinkedIn followers.

Groundspeak, which runs, the site of record for the geocaching world, moved up four positions to the No. 11 spot, with an across-the-board increase in its social following. The company recently surpassed 2 million geocaches in its database.

The big mover for the month was social media analytics company Simply Measured, thanks in part to a jump in its employee count as reported by LinkedIn.

Those are among the highlights from the latest update to the GeekWire 200, our effort to provide a broad snapshot of the Seattle startup community. It uses publicly available data — including social media followings, approximate employee counts and inbound web links — to generate a ranking of 200 top companies from our broader list of more than 700 Seattle-area tech startups.

It’s not a scientific exercise, but it does provide interesting insights. For example, many of the companies toward the top of the index are candidates for buyouts or public offerings. Case in point: No. 2 Tableau Software, which just yesterday filed for a $150 million initial public offering[Editor’s note: Tableau Software is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]

Game company Big Fish remains atop the GeekWire 200 for the fifth straight month.

For further insights into the GeekWire 200, we’ve also been using analytical tools from Seattle-area startup Rival IQ. John Clark of Rival IQ offers more analysis of the GeekWire 200 in this guest post, including this chart showing the companies on the index with the biggest increases in their Twitter followings over the past month.


See the full post by John Clark for many more insights from the Rival IQ data.

Additional 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.

The index also offers the ability to sort by industry category, company type and data set — helping you figure out which cloud computing company in the region has the most employees, for example, or which business-to-business software company has the most Twitter followers.

To make sure your startup is eligible for inclusion in the GeekWire 200, first make sure it’s included in 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 index here.

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  • Bruce Davidson

    Remember the good ol’ days when companies were actually ranked based on things like, oh say…earnings, revenue and growth. Now if you have external links and twitter followers you are the new list king. I hope at some point GeekWire finds a better way to really represent good companies in the Seattle area and not some silly metrics it creates.

    • Thomas R.

      The only problem I see with going back to the “good ol’ days” is that they would not be able to account for companies like Instagram or Summly, which had users but no revenue or even a business model. There are certain intangibles that exist within a startup, be it their users, technology or even team that make it difficult to rank.

      Furthermore, if you asked a VC what he’d want to see more of growth or profitability he’d probably say growth. Many startups operate at breakeven or even at a loss so they can focus on growth (Amazon is a good example).

    • Todd Bishop

      Thanks, Bruce. This is something we’ve wrestled with, and we’re more than open to suggestions for new data sources to improve the ranking.

      If all the privately held tech companies in the region want to start disclosing their earnings and revenue to us for purposes of the ranking, we’re all for it.

      In the meantime, the GeekWire 200 is a major improvement over past efforts to create this type of index in the Seattle area. Be sure to check out the sorting and filtering features on the GeekWire 200 and the larger Startup List. These are useful and insightful tools that didn’t exist on this level before we spent the time and money to create them as resources for the community.

      Thanks for your feedback.


      • krisdahl

        We might be willing to provide some revenue numbers.

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