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Inside Slack’s San Francisco headquarters. (Photo by Scott Schiller, via Flickr.)

Team messaging and collaboration company Slack topped the first-ever “Cloud 100” listing published by Forbes today. The listing ranks private companies with a cloud connection — most of them through offering software as a service (SaaS) — based on financial health, growth, and customer adoption and  satisfaction.

Slack, with 3 million users and a valuation of $3.8 billion, was followed by file-sharing leader Dropbox at No. 2, e-signature company DocuSign at No. 3, payments company Stripe No. 4 and data-management shop Cloudera at No. 5.

Security companies lead the sectors on the list with 14 list members, followed by collaboration (11), finance (10), analytics (9), IT (9) and marketing (9).

More than half of the companies on the list — 55 — are based in Silicon Valley/San Francisco, followed by the Greater New York City area, which is home to 12 companies on the list. Next is the Boston area (7), Southern California (6), Utah (5), the Seattle area (3), and then a host of cities with one company each, including Ann Arbor, Mich.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; and Mississauga, Ontario, as well as internationally headquartered companies based in Chennai, India; Switzerland; and Basingstoke in the United Kingdom.

The Seattle-based companies making the list :

  • At No. 16, IT investment manager Apptio, of Bellevue, with a headcount of 694 and funding of $136 million.
  • At No. 29, sales tax-compliance firm Avalara, of Bainbridge Island, with about 1,000 employees and an estimated $299 million in funding.
  • At No. 75, online project-management firm Smartsheet, of Bellevue, with a headcount of 389 and funding of $69 million.

See the full Forbes “Cloud 100” list here.

UPDATE: Forbes also published a list of 20 additional cloud companies that it dubbed “rising stars” — promising firms too small to be eligible for the Cloud 100 but “too fast-growing to ignore.” Those included Outreach, a Seattle-based sales-acceleration service. Among the others, 11 are based in California, three are based abroad (in Tel Aviv, Sydney, and Berlin), two each are based in Massachusetts and New York, and one is based in Maryland.

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