GeekWire 200 update: Deal mania shakes up rankings of top PNW startups


This year’s “deal mania” shook up the ranks of companies on the GeekWire 200, our index of the Pacific Northwest’s top privately-held startups.

A flurry of M&A, IPO and SPAC deals moved several top 10 companies off the list— they “graduate” after going public or getting acquired — which created room for new entrants.

With the latest monthly update, more deal-making seems on the horizon for the new top 10 companies. Hootsuite is reportedly planning on a 2022 IPO. Tanium, which relocated its headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Seattle area in 2020, is also an IPO candidate.

Two other companies, Nintex and PayScale, got in on the deal mania as well. Nintex sold a majority stake to private equity giant TPG Capital. PayScale, which is majority owned by private equity firm Francisco Partners, acquired CURO Compensation and merged with Payfactors.

Starting in 2022, companies that are majority owned by private equity firms will no longer qualify for the GeekWire Startup List and, as a result, the GeekWire 200 rankings — so watch for more shake-ups to come.

Blue Origin, the private space company founded by Jeff Bezos, continues to rank No. 1. This year, the Kent, Wash.-based company marked a milestone with its first human suborbital flight.

Blue Origin recently landed a nearly $25 million U.S. Space Force contract and Bezos announced in July the space venture’s ticket sales were nearing $100 million. Blue Origin’s next flight is scheduled for Dec. 6 with six suborbital space travelers.

The rest of the top 10 include Icertis, Outreach, Convoy, OfferUp and Clio, all startups valued at $1 billion or more.

See the full November GeekWire 200 update and continue reading for highlights and details about the GeekWire 200 methodology.

Routable, a San Francisco and Seattle-based fintech startup, was this month’s biggest mover rising 31 spots to No. 131. The 4-year-old company participated in Y Combinator as well as the University of Washington’s fintech incubator. Routable closed a $30 million Series B funding round led by Sam Altman and Jack Altman in April.

Ridwell co-founder and CEO Ryan Metzger shows off bags full of plastic film in the startup’s warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo area. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Recycling startup Ridwell moved up 24 spots to No. 139. Led by Microsoft and Zulily alum Ryan Metzger, Ridwell operates a subscription service to recycle items that would otherwise end up in landfills. As of July, the startup had more than 35,000 subscribers, including 23,000 in the Seattle area, often identified by the white and orange “Ridwell” boxes placed outside their homes. Read more coverage on GeekWire.

Pivotal Commware’s Pivot 5G repeaters give wireless signals a millimeter-wave boost. (Pivotal Commware Photo)

Pivotal Commware, a Bill Gates-backed company developing 5G infrastructure products, rose 17 spots to No. 147. The company spun out of Intellectual Ventures in 2017 and closed a $50 million Series C funding round in February. Verizon Wireless is both a customer and investor. Read more coverage on GeekWire.

Other big risers this month include:

  • Vancouver, B.C.-based Klue, up 15 spots to No. 97
  • Seattle-based Syndio, up 15 spots to No. 105
  • Bellevue, Wash.-based Esper, up 13 spots to No. 64
  • Portland, Ore.-based Brave Care, up 13 spots to No. 184

Six startups made their debut on the GeekWire 200 or returned to the list in November: Relish, DroneSeed, Lockstep, iUNU, Discuss.io and Center.

About the GeekWire 200

The GeekWire 200 is derived from our broader list of more than 1,300 Pacific Northwest tech startups, including 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.

If you value resources like these, please consider becoming a GeekWire Member.

Also, 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 regionstartup fundings, recent deals and our GeekWork job board.





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