We are in the thick of awards season. With the Oscars out of the way, the time has come for the next-most important awards contest of the year. That’s right, the GeekWire Awards are less than a month away.
But this is more than just a shameless plug for the 12th edition of the awards. Looking at the finalists through the lens of the GeekWire 200, our ranking of the Pacific Northwest’s privately-held tech companies, reveals some interesting insights into the state of the region’s startup scene.
- Three of the five finalists for funding Deal of the Year are ranked in the top 10. And all five Next Tech Titan finalists are inside the top 30. Remitly (#4), Auth0 (#6) and Outreach (#15) are the only companies this year to be nominated for multiple awards.
- On the flip side, none of the finalists for Startup of the Year are ranked on the GeekWire 200. This shows the depth of the Pacific Northwest startup scene. Companies that go public or get acquired graduate from the list, and there are a flurry of early-stage startups waiting to fill their spots.
- You can expect new companies to arrive and rise on the list in the near future. Oren Etzioni and Jacob Colker of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle recently predicted that the region is posed for “unprecedented acceleration of company creation.” The confluence of huge public companies, increased investment from local and outside VCs, a growing infrastructure to support growing companies, and top-tier educational institutions has transformed the region into a center of innovation that trails only San Francisco. These factors have contributed to a deep pool of tech talent that ranks tops among the major markets in North America.
The GeekWire 200 includes startups from Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and British Columbia. The rankings are generated from publicly available data, including social media followings, approximate employee counts (via LinkedIn) and inbound web links.
Each month, we update the list and recap the month’s biggest movers and shakers. Here are a few other trends we’re seeing on the GeekWire 200 this month.
Hardware scene on the rise
- The Pacific Northwest, and the Seattle area in particular, is mostly known for software. And with good reason, as roughly 90% of the GeekWire 200 list is made up of software startups.
- But don’t sleep on the growing crop of hardware startups building momentum in the Pacific Northwest. They’re making everything from electric bikes to 3D printers to augmented reality devices.
- Rad Power Bikes (#46), Pela (#48), Glowforge (#60), Kymeta (#61) and RealWear (#78) were the top-ranked hardware startups on the list this month.
Tight race in the top 10
- Since April of last year, the top three companies — space venture Blue Origin (#1); vacation rental marketplace Vacasa (#2) and pet-sitting service Rover (#3) — continue to dominate. While companies up and down the list have grown, these three have kept pace. Together, they currently employ more than 4,700 people, up 1,200 employees from last year, based on LinkedIn employee counts.
- Contract management startup Icertis moved up three spots to No. 8, breaking into the top 10.
- Other top-10 movers this month made small but significant progress: Auth0 moved one spot to No. 6 and Moz moved one spot to No. 9.
Debuts and biggest movers
- Four companies debuted on the GeekWire 200 this month: lifestyle startup Bulletproof (#27), cannabis genetic testing company Phylos Bioscience (#122), threat intelligence and risk management platform Echosec (#187), and compliance automation company Anitian (#197).
- This month’s biggest mover, meat marketplace CrowdCow, jumped 17 spots. Educational tech startup Riipen, which debuted on the GeekWire 200 in January, rose on a similar trajectory, up 16 spots.
- A half dozen other startups made notable upward movement including DefinedCrowd (#34), Karat (#86), Doxo (#116), RiskLens (#119), Data Science Dojo (#132) and IOTAS (#185).
About the GeekWire 200
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, startup fundings, and our GeekWork job board.