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The Pacific Northwest’s reputation as an innovation hub comes mostly from the tech industry, but the healthcare and biotech companies that call the region home are making noise as well.

In this month’s update to the GeekWire 200, our ranking of the Pacific Northwest’s top startups, some of the biggest movers are in the medical and biotech/agriculture industries.

According to data supplied to GeekWire by PitchBook, the amount of money VCs have poured into the healthcare and biotech industries over the last few years has declined, though the number of deals has been on the rise. So far in 2018, there have been 13 deals in healthcare totaling $53.7 million and six deals totaling $36.8 million for biotech startups. That averages out to raises of $4.1 million in healthcare and $6.1 million in biotech.

There is only one healthcare company in the top 20 of the GeekWire 200, Edifecs, and no life sciences/biotech companies. Though further down the list, companies in these sectors are making some noise.

At the top of the list, digital signature company DocuSign retained the number one spot this month, followed by tax automation tech company Avalara, space exploration venture Blue Origin, work management technology company Smartsheet and software automation company Puppet. In the top 10, Moz moved up two spots to number eight and Nintex made it back into the top 10 by jumping up a single spot.

Click for the full February update to the GeekWire 200 and continue reading for highlights and an explanation of the GeekWire 200 methodology.

Seattle startup 98point6 wants to redefine the meaning of the on-call doctor. 98point6 rose 14 spots to number 110 this month.

The company lists 97 employees on LinkedIn and raised $19.5 million last year to build out a primary care system that’s entirely virtual and aims to bring down healthcare costs while increasing access.

98point6 users have constant access to a primary care doctor through the company’s app and web portal. If they have any medical questions or aren’t feeling well, they can simply hop into the app to talk to a 98point6 doctor, who can give them medical advice, diagnose health issues and prescribe treatments.

Phytelligence is taking on a big problem: sustainable farming. The 5-year-old spinout from Washington State University, led by Ken Hunt, joined this year’s Seattle 10 class and rose 16 spots in February to come in at number 162 on the list.

Last July, the company raised $6.95 million to continue expanding marketing of its agricultural science. The company uses a proprietary tissue culture process called MultiPHY that helps grow fruit trees in more efficient and sustainable ways.

The four-step process grows trees in a custom gel blend rather than traditional soil — a method that provides all necessary nutrients without the need for water, which saves time and money for growers. The controlled environment also allows the plants to grow more quickly.

The Phylos Galaxy. (Phylos Photo)

Phylos Bioscience is based in Portland and focuses on understanding the genomics of cannabis, which the company calls “least-studied plant in the world.” The startup rose 17 spots in the rankings this month to number 167.

Phylos uses modern molecular genetics and computational biology to better understand cannabis It has developed tools to help cannabis breeders and growers learn about the genetics of their crop. Perhaps its most ambitious offering is the Phylos Galaxy, a database that maps out the DNA and the genetic identity of thousands of varieties of plants from over 80 countries.

The company lists 32 employees hasn’t raised money since 2016 when it brought in $1.4 million to build out the infrastructure supporting the Galaxy and its other research.

Here are a look at some of the other big risers this month:

Seven startups made their debut on the GeekWire 200 or returned to the list in February. They are: Karat, New Engen, Imperative, DefinedCrowd, Pixvana, Igneous, and Project Bionic.


The GeekWire 200 — sponsored by our partners at EY — is derived from our broader list of more than 1,200 Pacific Northwest tech startups. The list is designed to provide a better understanding of the startup landscape in the Northwest. The rankings are generated from publicly available data, including social media followings, approximate employee counts (via LinkedIn) and inbound web links.

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 Pacific Northwest 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. (Please, no service providers, marketing agencies, etc.)

Thanks to everyone for checking out this month’s ranking. And, just a reminder, if you value resources like these, be sure to check out our list and map of out-of-town tech companies with Seattle engineering outposts as well as our list of startup incubators, co-working spaces and accelerators in the region, and our GeekWork job board.

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