Four years after establishing a second headquarters in Seattle, healthcare technology company Accolade is betting big on the city once more with plans to double its staff and open new offices with room to accommodate more than 225 employees.
Accolade is renovating two floors at 1201 Third at a cost of $2.5 million, according to a building permit application filed with the city. Amy Colby, an interior designer at Bellevue, Wash.-based JPC Architects, which has designed offices for Dropbox, EA Sports, Pitchbook and Docusign, is listed on the application.
“We’ve outgrown our Convention Center space and need room to grow — and not arm-wrestle over meeting rooms!” Accolade CEO Raj Singh told GeekWire in an email. Singh wasn’t ready to discuss specific real estate plans but said that the company aims to double the size of its 120-person Seattle team over the next two to three years.
The 45,000 square feet of office space is large enough to accommodate around 225 to 300 employees, according to industry-standard ratios of 150 to 200 square feet per employee. The Puget Sound Business Journal first reported the building plans.
1201 Third Tower, formerly known as Washington Mutual Tower, is a 55-story skyscraper completed in 1988. The tower is home to tenants like WeWork and Boston Consulting Group.
Accolade’s basic pitch is to help employees navigate their health benefits. The company uses a range of technologies from machine learning to mobile apps to make it easier for employees to access care. Employers are charged a subscription fee based on the total number of employees.
Accolade’s customers include large employers from a range of industries, such as Comcast, Lowe’s, Amerigas and Temple University Health Systems. The company brought on more than 500,000 new members in 2018.
The country’s largest employers have shown a willingness in recent years to rethink how they approach healthcare benefits — a trend encapsulated in Haven, the healthcare joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.
“Healthcare is an astronomical expense for every company – big and small – in relation to their overall balance sheet,” said Singh. “CFOs are starting to push back on that expense. Seeing three big companies say ‘ENOUGH’ is driving other employers to start questioning and take action.”
Singh previously co-founded travel expense software giant Concur and brought on Concur co-founder Mike Hilton as chief product officer at Accolade. Accolade splits its headquarters between Seattle and Philadelphia and employs more than 1,000 people nationally.
Earlier this year, the company launched a new product called Accolade Connect, which gives users access to a virtual team of health assistants and nurses through mobile and online messaging. Seattle startup Apptio was the first company to use the service.
The company is also expanding the ways that it can personalize care for individuals, such as targeting messages to people based on their health conditions or reminding them to get flu shots. Accolade is also building a health and benefits service team in Seattle and hiring people with clinical expertise.
Asked about the possibility of IPO plans, Singh said the company was, for now, focused on growing users and “hitting our profitability milestone.” Singh was one of the winners of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Northwest region last week.
The company has raised more than $200 million to date and commands a valuation of around $620 million, according to PitchBook. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Carrick Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group and McKesson Ventures, among others.
Accolade is among a number of digital health startups that are growing in the Pacific Northwest and climbing the ranks of the GeekWire 200, our leaderboard of privately held startups in the region. Accolade currently ranks No. 8 on the list.