GeekWire 200 update: The hottest startups in Seattle tech

gw200

During the month of June, companies were moving up and moving off the GeekWire 200, our ranking of the top technology startup companies in the Pacific Northwest.

Those climbing up the list include Seattle online photo editing startup PicMonkey, which now ranks #4; and cosmetics startup Julep, which ranks #5.

Jane Park

Jane Park

Julep, led by former Starbucks exec and GeekWire CEO of the Year winner Jane Park, is flying high after raising a $30 million venture capital round in April. The increase in the company’s GeekWire 200 ranking was due in part to surpassing 200 employees. (Company size is one of several metrics used to calculate the index.)

Check out the full June update here. The GeekWire 200 is sponsored by Fresh Consulting.

The top three companies on the list remained constant over last month: game maker Big Fish; electronic signature powerhouse DocuSign and online real estate company Redfin.

Both DocuSign and Redfin have been mentioned as possible IPO candidates. But another company that’s climbing the list may beat them to the punch. Seattle pet insurance company Trupanion (#18) filed to go public last week.

Once a company goes public or gets acquired, it is removed from the GeekWire 200.

That’s what happened with Buuteeq, the Seattle hotel marketing startup which was acquired by Priceline Group earlier this month. The company had previously ranked #25 on the GeekWire 200 list.

gw200Two other companies in the top 100 also recently fell off the list, but not for joyous reasons. Online music app Lively and online eyewear retailer Rivet & Sway announced that they were closing their doors this month. We’re also tracking reports of another closure in the top 100, and we’ll post that info as soon as we have it confirmed.

The GeekWire 200 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 Pacific Northwest tech startups. It’s not a perfect ranking by any means, but we think it helps provide a better understanding of the startup landscape. It’s also a work in progress, and we are always looking for ways to improve the list.

To make sure your startup is eligible for inclusion in the GeekWire 200, first make sure it’s included in the broader 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 crunch the numbers to see if your company makes next month’s GeekWire 200.

Apart from providing a quick survey of the startup landscape in the Pacific Northwest, the GeekWire 200 can be a useful tool for research. In addition to sorting between B2B and B2C companies, you can also sort by more than 20 different sub-categories, from gaming to advertising to education.

Special note for job seekers: We’ve added a new feature to the GeekWire 200, “We’re Hiring” buttons, supplementing our GeekWork jobs site to help connect candidates with employers. Companies interested in this feature can contact advertising@geekwire.com.

Editor’s note: PicMonkey CEO Jonathan Sposato is chairman of GeekWire.

  • Joe

    Like Zulily, I struggle to see how Julep is a tech company. Using e-commerce in my mind is not tech.

    • Miguel G

      Agreed.

  • guest

    This list really needs to be redone. When you are more than 10 years ago, or doing more than $20M in business, it is quite a stretch to call it a startup. I fail to see how Big Fish, Intellius, Redfin, Whitepages and a bunch of others can be considered startups. For that matter, if the company got much traction after 5 years but somehow hangs around, it isn’t a startup. It is just a small business. Startup needs to scale, and within a reasonable amount of time.

    • guest

      I meant to say when a company didn’t get much traction after five years.

    • Miguel G

      They seem to have a very loose definition of startup.

      • johnhcook

        Yes, I hear your criticism. We do have a loose definition of startup. The list is not perfect by any means, but we are constantly trying to make it better.

        • Dave

          John–Can you give an idea of the loose criteria for your list? Understand it is fluid and not being critical, but interested. I can see some like Big Fish, Intellius, Redfin where the criteria seems roughly venture backed technology or technology enabled companies that are pre-liquidity event. “Technology enabled” picks up e-commerce companies like Julep and Zulily where you could argue over whether or not they are technology companies, but they have e-commerce tech VC investors.

          Difficult to classify companies like
          -Edifecs, bootstrapped, sizable, been around a long time,
          -Whitepages, which had a liquidity event then bought out its investors

          -Payscale, which has been around for a long time, had a liquidity event and is now owned by PE investors

  • Guest

    Where is Apptio?

    • Mark

      Bellevue

    • johnhcook

      Apptio is #20 on the list.

  • datamonster

    My suggestion would be to de-emphasize headcount with the rankings. That seems like a very 1999 metric — especially in light of startups like Instagram doing well with low headcount and Fab doing poorly with hundreds..

    • johnhcook

      Part of what we want to track are companies that grow into major employers that have a dramatic impact on the economy. For us, the best measure of that is headcount. It’s not perfect, especially in light of the fact that private companies rarely disclose revenue or profits.

  • Miguel G

    I don’t see Pied Piper on this list. I call for a recount. Oh wait that’s SF. Nevermind.

  • Mark

    I thought DocuSign was based in San Francisco?

  • Mark

    I thought DocuSign was based in San Francisco….

    • johnhcook

      They have dual operations, just as Redfin does. In fact, DocuSign has more employees in the Seattle area.

      http://www.geekwire.com/2014/docusign-inks-85-million-venture-deal-plans-top-1000-employees-2014/

      It is a judgment call on whether to include companies on the list or not, and in this case we have decided to do so.

      • Mark

        Actually, I think there are more in SF now. Plus all the C Level Execs and Founder are in SF. It would make more sense to put it down there….

      • Dave

        I understand your logic but it really is hard to see DocuSign as a Seattle company. Vast bulk of the execs are in SF, including CEO, COO, CFO and others, press releases come out of SF, etc. Even your article says they are making Seattle a hub for inside sales (a/k/a telesales, often located in non-strategic locations like Omaha where talent is abundant and cheap…), support (similar to inside sales) and engineering. Engineering is important and core. CTO is here but he has been increasingly marginalized. Note the Chief Product Officer is in the Bay Area.

        Redfin is different because the CEO and CFO are in Seattle. That would seem to make them a Seattle company.

        If you ask DocuSign people candidly, they say they are an SF based company. Seattle is an important location for them but not based here.

  • Dave

    Docusigns ipo will have a San Francisco address. I think all the senior execs but the head of legal are in SF. Hard to list them as a Seattle company these days.

  • guest

    There are some defunct companies on this list that should be dropped (U4ia, I’m looking at you).

    • johnhcook

      Yes, as I mentioned above in the post, we are trying to get confirmation on some of the companies which have closed. Thanks for reading.

  • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

    Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. Matt Hulett also had some good feedback here: http://www.startupwhisperer.com/2014/06/does-geekwire-miss-mobile-startups.html.

    We’re taking all of this into consideration and will be improving the GeekWire 200 over time.

    • Matt Hulett

      Thanks for the call out on my post. Just like the Forbes 400 list, it always has its critics and it can only get better over time. I love the fact that Geekwire sticks its proverbial neck out there and defines a list of top companies in the NW. However, unlike most measuring sticks that just measure revenue, ebitda, etc, Geekwire uses more KPIs for its measure and I would argue uses older KPIs that may not mean much in current tech environments (namely mobile metrics). Keep up the good work and thanks for listening!