Stratos Product Development, a Seattle company that has worked with some of the world’s biggest technology and health companies, has abruptly shut down.
GeekWire was alerted to the closure by a tipster, and when we tried to reach out to the company, we got an automatic reply saying “This response serves to notify you of the closing of our business as of April 28, 2017. Thank you for your patronage and support over the past years of operation. Stratos Product Development wishes to apologize for any inconvenience caused by this closing notification.”
Stratos Product Development is under the larger Stratos Group umbrella, which also includes biotech company Stratos Genomics and medical company Carewave. Stratos Group CEO Harold Kawaguchi said Stratos Product Development is in the midst of an “orderly wind down” and emphasized that other Stratos Group entities are not affected.
Stratos Genomics CEO Mark Kokoris confirmed in an email that his company is completely separate from Stratos Product Development and is not affected by the closure.
Despite the closure message, Stratos Product Development’s website still appears to be active, and a couple of open jobs are listed under its careers section. The company lists close to 70 employees on LinkedIn.
Stratos Product Development was founded in 1987. It has worked on Microsoft Xbox controllers, Apple laptops and Nike sunglasses. Stratos helped Intellectual Ventures build a device that stores vaccines without requiring power, an important innovation for third world countries where inconsistent power access can spoil temperature-sensitive vaccines.
It was working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to make a device that quickly takes in blood, saliva and other samples and diagnoses diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. The device is meant to work in small clinics without consistent access to electricity.
Founded in 2007, Stratos Genomics builds technology called Sequencing By Expansion, or “SBX,” which converts DNA into more easily-read polymer, making it cheaper and faster to sequence DNA. In 2015, Seattle Genomics raised $15 million to complete a Series B funding round.
Carewave says on its website it is building a wearable, drug-free pain relief solution that connects to smartphones. The product will hit the market in the second quarter of next year, according to Carewave’s website.