Investors say these are the 18 hottest enterprise startups from Seattle’s booming tech scene to watch in 2020 (MSFT, AMZN)


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  • While best known as the headquarters of Amazon and Microsoft, experts believe the Seattle area is on the precipice of a major startup boom because of a confluence of factors including a critical mass of talent, and the increasing availability of venture capital and angel investments.
  • Business Insider compiled a list of the Seattle area’s top enterprise startups based on nominations from industry leaders and venture capitalists.
  • Eighteen startups – meaning private companies that haven’t sold a majority stake – made the cut.
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The Seattle area is known for Amazon and Microsoft – except when the companies are mistakenly referred to as “Silicon Valley giants” – but the region also punches above its weight when it comes to enterprise startups.

While the Bay Area is unlikely to be knocked off its perch as the top tech hub in the world, early Amazon investor and cofounder of Seattle’s most prolific venture firm Madrona Venture Group Tom Alberg said, Seattle is a clear No. 2.

“You’ve got Amazon and Microsoft – two of the five most valuable companies in the world,” Alberg said. “The other three are in the valley. There are none in New York – I love this – none in Chicago, none in L.A., none in Austin.”

The other three – Apple, Google, Facebook – have huge offices in the Seattle area. Facebook’s largest engineering outpost is here, and the company is quietly laying the foundation for its own HQ2-style expansion by leasing enough office space for 20,000 employees in the region.

Since Amazon went public in 1994, 31 startups founded in Seattle have reached valuations in excess of $1 billion, according to an analysis from a Madrona Venture Group venture capitalist. 

The Seattle area is on the precipice of a major startup boom because of a confluence of factors including a critical mass of talent, increasing availability of venture capital and angel investments, and STEM education through the University of Washington, as two artificial intelligence experts wrote in a recent guest post for Seattle-based tech news site GeekWire.

Business Insider compiled the following list of the Seattle area’s top enterprise startups based on nominations from industry leaders and venture capitalists. Here are the startups to watch in 2020:

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at, message her on Twitter @ashannstew or send her a secure message through Signal at 425-344-8242.


Accolade CEO Rajeev Singh
Rajeev Singh

What it does:Accolade calls itself a “healthcare concierge” service. It’s a subscription-based service sold to companies to help their employees navigate healthcare benefits and resources.

Why it’s on the list:The healthcare tech startup is run by Rajeev Singh, one of the co-founders of expense reporting software company Concur, which sold to German software giant SAP in 2014 for $8.3 billion (Singh’s brother and fellow Concur cofounder is Steve Singh, former Docker CEO). With Singh at the helm, the company has raised money from top VCs including Andreessen Horowitz and has big customers including Comcast.

  • CEO:Rajeev Singh
  • Headquarters: Co-headquarters in Seattle and Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
  • Raised to date:$240 million (PitchBook estimate)
  • Valuation: Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company is worth $630 million as of October
  • Investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Carrick Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, McKesson Ventures, CrossCreek Advisors and Madera Technology Partners
  • Number of employees: 1,100
  • Number of customers:Accolade “supports 1.5 million members”
  • Notable customers:Comcast, Lowe’s, American Airlines, United Airlines, Apptio, Intuit, and Amerigas.


Algorithmia CEO Diego Oppenheimer.

What it does:Algorithmia creates artificial intelligence products and algorithms for companies to use for data science.

Why it’s on the list:Algorithmia had a big year in 2019, raising $25 million and hiring Atlassian’s former engineering head, Ken Toole, as vice president of platform engineering. Algorithmia’s marketplace is used by more than 100,000 developers, according to the startup, and its advised by board member Anna Patterson of Google’s AI fund Gradient Ventures.

  • CEO:Diego Oppenheimer
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date: $35.5 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company is worth $100 million
  • Investors:Gradient Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Madrona Venture Group
  • Number of employees:65
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose
  • Notable customers:MS & AD Toyota Insurance, ONS (United Nations department of statistics), Tevec (Brazilian Supply Chain Company).


Amperity CEO Kabir Shahani.

What it does:Amperity is a customer data platform that uses artificial intelligence to help users know who their customers are and make business decisions based on that data.

Why it’s on the list:Amperity is taking on giants including Salesforce and Oracle in the emerging customer data platform space – and it’s gaining traction with big brands like Starbucks and Gap Inc. The Seattle-based startup raised $50 million this summer from investors including Goldman Sachs.

  • CEO:Kabir Shahani
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$87 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $450 million in July 2019.
  • Investors: Tiger Global Management, Goldman Sachs, Declaration Partners (an investment firm backed by David Rubenstein), Madera Technology Partners, Madrona Venture Group, and investor Lee Fixel
  • Number of employees: 175
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose
  • Notable customers:Starbucks, Gap Inc., J.Crew, Alaska Airlines, Uniqlo, Kenneth Cole, Moët Hennessy USA, Lucky Brand, Planet Fitness, Seattle Sounders FC, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Crocs, and BECU credit union.


Auth0 CEO Eugenio Pace.

What it does:Auth0 is a cybersecurity software startup that manages user authentication and secures the login pages for large consumer and enterprise businesses.

Why it’s on the list:Cofounded and run by a 12-year veteran of Microsoft, Auth0 raised $103 million and doubled it valuation this year. The company was include in Forbes’ recent Cloud 100 list and accounting firm Deloitte determined it was among the fastest-growing technology companies in the country.

  • CEO:Eugenio Pace
  • Headquarters:Bellevue, Washington
  • Raised to date:$210 million
  • Valuation:$1.16 billion
  • Investors: Sapphire Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, K9 Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Meritech Capital, and World Innovation Lab
  • Number of employees: 600
  • Number of customers:9,000
  • Notable customers:Atlassian, News Corp, Autotrader, Cimpress, Servcorp, and World Vision.
  • Notable partners:Amazon Web Services, Globant, Traxion, and IDMWorks.


Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe.

What it does:Highspot uses machine learning to help salespeople land and retain customers by organizing and recommending the types of sales content, such as brochures or case studies, most likely to help them win a deal.

Why it’s on the list:Run by one of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s former lieutenants, Highspot just raised $75 million from investors including Microsoft rival Salesforce. Highspot is in the midst of a big hiring push and has landed big customers including Red Hat, SAP Concur and Twitter. The startup now has 375 employees and plans to grow to 700 employees by the end of 2020.

  • CEO:Robert Wahbe
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$200 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company is worth $790 million as of this month
  • Investors: ICONIQ Capital, Salesforce Ventures, OpenView, Madrona Venture Group, Sapphire Ventures, Shasta Ventures
  • Number of employees: 375
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose customer count, but said it has “doubled in the past year.”
  • Notable customers:Apptio, Dun & Bradstreet, Red Hat, SAP Concur, and Twitter.
  • Notable partners:Microsoft and Salesforce


Icertis CEO Samir Bodas.

What it does:Icertis builds a platform to help customers manage contracts in the cloud, which its leaders say increases a company’s capacity for contracts, ensures those contracts comply with regulations and policies and reduces costs.

Why it’s on the list:Icertis is the cloud-based software large companies including Microsoft use to manage their contracts. The startup’s valuation surpassed $1 billion this year when it raised $115 million as it takes on competitors such as DocuSign-owned SpringCM and made Forbes’ recent Cloud 100 list.

  • CEO:Samir Bodas
  • Headquarters:Bellevue, Washington
  • Raised to date:$171 million
  • Valuation:$1.15 billion (PitchBook estimate)
  • Investors: B Capital Group, Cross Creek, Eight Roads, Greycroft, Ignition Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Premji Invest and PSP Growth
  • Number of employees:120 employees in the greater Seattle area
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose, but an investor in the company said it has 6.5 million contracts under management in more than 90 countries.
  • Notable customers:ABB, Airbus, BASF, Bertelsmann, Cognizant, Daimler, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Qantas.


Igneous CEO Kiran Bhageshpur.

What it does:Igneous is an enterprise data management startup that helps customers such as high tech manufacturers and financial institutions manage the billions of files and petabytes of data in their datacenters.

Why it’s on the list:Cofounded and led by a veteran of Isilon Systems and EMC, Igneous raised $25 million this year from investors including Madrona Venture Group and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital. 

  • CEO:Kiran Bhageshpur
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$68 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth more than $100 million in March.
  • Investors:Madrona Venture Group, New Enterprise Associates, WestRiver Group, Vulcan Capital, and Redpoint Ventures
  • Number of employees: 75
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose.
  • Notable customers:PAIGE, Tippet Studio, and Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

Integris Software

Integris Software CEO Kristina Bergman.
Integris Software

What it does:Integris Software is a data privacy startup that helps companies manage the information they keep on customers and ensure they are in compliance with privacy regulations.

Why it’s on the list:Companies have to comply with an increasing number of privacy regulations, including the new California Consumer Privacy Act, and investors believe that’s a big opportunity for Integris Software. The company – founded and led by former Microsoft manager and Ignition Partners principal Kristina Bergman – recently raised $3 million.

  • CEO:Kristina Bergman
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$16 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $30 million in July 2018. 
  • Investors: Workday Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Amplify Partners and Aspect Ventures.
  • Number of employees: 30
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose, but said customers include Fortune 1000 companies in the telecommunications, CPG, insurance, travel and expense, and security industries.
  • Notable partners:TrustArc, VMWare, AWS, Microsoft, Evident ID, Imperva, and Cloudentity.


Outreach CEO Manny Medina.

What it does:Outreach is a sales automation startup that helps salespeople engage with customers more effectively by using artificial intelligence to help them determine the best action to take with prospective customers.

Why it’s on the list:Once on the verge of bankruptcy, the Seattle startup founded by a former Amazon Web Services and Microsoft executive is now worth more than $1 billion. Outreach this year raised a $114 million round and is used by companies including Adobe and Tableau.

  • CEO:Manny Medina
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$239 million
  • Valuation:$1.1 billion
  • Investors:Lone Pine Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Lemonade Capital, Allison Bhusri’s investment fund, DFJ Growth, Four Rivers Group, Mayfield, M12 (Microsoft’s venture capital arm), Sapphire Ventures, Spark Capital and Trinity Ventures.
  • Number of employees:350
  • Number of customers:More than 3,500 companies
  • Notable customers:Adobe, Tableau, Okta, Splunk, DocuSign, and SAP


Pulumi CEO Joe Duffy.

What it does:Pulumi builds an “infrastructure as code” platform that lets developers use regular familiar programming languages for cloud infrastructure. The startup says the technology eliminates silos between developers and infrastructure operators, and helps companies create and manage cloud applications more effectively.

Why it’s on the list:Founded in 2017 by veterans of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, Pulumi has already attracted the attention of customers including Tableau and Mercedes Benz and is chaired by Eric Rudder, the former Microsoft executive once thought to be a contender to take over for Bill Gates.

  • CEO: Joe Duffy
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • How much you’ve raised to date:$20 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $85 million in October.
  • Investors:Madrona Venture Group, Tola Capital
  • Number of employees:30
  • Number of customers:“Thousands of end users across hundreds of companies.”
  • Notable customers:Tableau, Mercedes Benz, Credijusto, Sourcegraph, Cockroach Labs and PLOS.


Moz CEO Sarah Bird

What it does:Moz is a subscription software startup that sells marketing and marketing analytics software.

Why it’s on the list:Founded in 2004, Moz is a veteran of Seattle’s startup scene and has customers that include Zillow, Trivago, and Alaska Airlines.

  • CEO:Sarah Bird
  • Headquarters: Seattle, WA
  • Raised to date:$29.1 million
  • Valuation: Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $137.24 million in 2016.
  • Investors: Foundry Group, Ignition Partners, Curious Office Partners
  • Number of employees: 170 employees 
  • Number of customers: “Customers and users of Moz products and free tools exceed 700,000,” the company said.
  • Notable customers:Zillow, Trivago, Alaska Airlines, and Razorfish.


Qumulo CEO Bill Richter.

What it does:Qumulo is a hybrid cloud storage startup that helps customers manage data inside their own data centers and the cloud.

Why it’s on the list:Led by longtime Isilon and EMC executive Bill Richter, Qumulo has attracted the attention of top venture firms and customers including Uber and Target. Qumulo just hired Michael Cornwell, the former general manager of storage technologies for Microsoft Azure, as chief technology officer.

  • CEO:Bill Richter
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$222.3 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $553 million in July 2018.
  • Investors:Kleiner Perkins, Highland Capital, Goldman Sachs, Data Collective, Madronis Group, BlackRock Private Equity Partners, Western Digital, and Valhalla Partners.
  • Number of employees:290
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose
  • Notable customers:Sinclair Oil, Hyundai Mobis, NBC, Uber and Target.


Skilljar CEO Sandi Lin.
Sandi Lin

What it does:Skilljar develops a customer training platform it says helps companies onboard, engage and retain customers to improve customer adoption and retention rates.

Why it’s on the list:Cofounded and run by former Amazon manager Sandi Lin, Skilljar participated in the TechStars accelerator, received investment from firms including Microsoft board member and T-Mobile founder John Stanton’s Trilogy Equity Partners and has landed customers including Tableau and Verizon.

  • CEO:Sandi Lin
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • How much you’ve raised to date:$20.1 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $46.4 million in February 2018.
  • Investors:Mayfield Fund, Trilogy Equity Partners, and Shasta Ventures
  • Number of employees:85
  • Number of customers:More than 250 companies
  • Notable customers:Tableau, U-Haul, Cisco, Procore, and Verizon


Skytap CEO Brad Schick

What it does:Skytap is a cloud service that helps enterprise customers update their traditional, existing technologies into the modern era, including from data centers to the cloud.

Why it’s on the list:While Amazon Web Services dominated the cloud market, Skytap has found success by focusing exclusively on helping big businesses modernize their software. The approach is catching on with customers, attracting dollars from investors including Goldman Sachs and has put Skytap on the road to an IPO.

  • CEO:Brad Schick
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • How much you’ve raised to date:$109 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $360 million in August 2017.
  • Investors:Goldman Sachs, Insight Venture Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Ignition Partners, OpenView Capital, W Capital Partners, and WRF Capital.
  • Number of employees:About 175
  • Number of customers:Less than 500
  • Notable partners:IBM, Microsoft and VMware.


Suplari CEO Nikesh Parekh.

What it does:Suplari’s software analyzes a company’s spending, contracts, and supplier relationships and recommends changes to improve financial performance.

Why it’s on the list:Suplari’s technology has landed customers including Hulu and Nordstrom, and dollars from investors including Workday’s venture arm Workday Ventures. The startup is run by CEO Nikesh Parekh, the former vice president of new ventures at real estate startup Trulia before it was acquired by Zillow in 2015.

  • CEO:Nikesh Parekh
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$18.6 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates the company was worth $30.3 million in April 2018.
  • Investors: Madrona Venture Group, Shasta Ventures, Amplify Partners, Two Sigma, and Workday Ventures
  • Number of employees:40
  • Number of customers:More than 25
  • Notable customers:Nordstrom, Sonos, Wayfair, Hulu, LendingTree, New York Public Library, CDK Global, Workday, Qualtrics, and Fox Corporation


Textio CEO Kieran Snyder.

What it does:Textio’s augmented writing software is intended to help customers write faster and more effectively. The startup’s technology, for example, uses artificial intelligence to help companies write job postings by tracking, and then using, words and phrases that are most likely to fill a role.

Why it’s on the list:Textio’s coaching network is used in more than a quarter of the Fortune 500, according to investors, including companies such as McDonalds, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, and eBay.

  • CEO:Kieran Snyder
  • Headquarters:Seattle
  • Raised to date:$29.5 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimated the company was worth $115 million in 2017.
  • Investors: Scale Venture Partners, Emergence Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and Upside Partnership.
  • Number of employees: 150
  • Number of customers:Declined to disclose 
  • Notable customers:Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Cisco, British Airways, Slack, McDonalds, eBay, Credit Suisse, The World Bank, American Express, NASA JPL, Virgin Atlantic, Avery Dennison, Spotify, and Dropbox.


Zipwhip CEO John Lauer.

What it does:Zipwhip software enables companies to send and receive texts through existing fixed-line business numbers.

Why it’s on the list:No one answers their phone anymore, investors say, so companies like Farmers Insurance use Zipwhip to communicate with their customers via text. The startup has funding from top investors like Goldman Sachs and Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12, partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Salesforce and customers like Twilio and the Seattle Seahawks.

  • CEO: John Lauer
  • Headquarters: Seattle
  • Raised to date:$95 million
  • Valuation:Declined to disclose, but PitchBook estimates  the company is worth more than $261 million as of January.
  • Investors:Goldman Sachs, M12 (Microsoft’s venture capital arm), OpenView, Voyager Capital, and Ronin Capital
  • Number of employees: 292
  • Number of customers:12,000 software customers (and more than 35,000 businesses use Zipwhip technology)
  • Notable customers:Twilio, OpenMarket, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Seahawks, and Cumulus Media.
  • Notable partners:Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Zapier.


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