Meet The Nominees For Seattle Inno'S 2022 Fire Awards – The Business Journals

Meet the nominees for Seattle Inno's 2022 Fire Awards – The Business Journals

The Seattle-area tech scene is ablaze right now.
Through the first half of 2022, there were 250 venture capital deals totaling $4.4 billion, according to data from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. That deal value was fifth-highest among U.S. metros over that period.
In recognition of the area’s most innovative companies, Seattle Inno has picked six companies in five categories — a total of 30 — to showcase as nominees for our 2022 Fire Awards. The categories reflect the diversity of the of the tech scene, from newly launched startups to “unicorns” with billion-plus dollar valuations. We also highlight the companies that support the area’s hot tech scene.
Companies were selected through reader nominations and editorial input. Although it was nearly impossible to choose only 30 companies, the Seattle Inno team considered factors such as funding, revenue growth, mission, community impact and future potential when creating the list.
In September, Seattle Inno will announce a winner, or Blazer, in each category. See below for this year’s nominees, including a brief description of each company.
JUST GETTING STARTED AND HEATING UP
Agriculture tech startup Strella Biotechnology moved to Seattle from Philadelphia at the start of the year. Since then, the company has raised an $8 million Series A round. The 5-year-old startup makes sensors to help packers, importers and retailers monitor the ripeness of produce.
Offleash’d, a Seattle-based dating and social app for pet parents, officially launched earlier this year. The startup is betting on the size of both the pet market and the dating market, Offleash’d COO Terry James previously told the Business Journal, with the goal of providing a dating and social app where users already have something in common.
Seattle-based management platform ManageBetter was founded in 2019 and already counts big names like Uber, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin among its 800 clients.
Seattle-based compliance and cybersecurity company Strike Graph, founded in 2020, saw its revenue skyrocket last year. The Madrona Venture Labs spinout says it has hundreds of customers, including Seattle-based artificial intelligence company WhyLabs.
Seattle-based marketing startup Evocalize raised a $12 million Series A round in January, and the company counts big names like Alaska Airlines and Box as clients. At the time of the Series A round, Evocalize said more than 1 million digital marketing programs have run using its technology.
The Closing Docs, based in Seattle, helps lenders and property managers automate income verification. The 5-year-old company said it tripled its headcount during a 90-day stretch this year.
THE HEALTH NUTS
Tacoma-based Actriv Healthcare, founded in 2017, connects nurses and health care facilities through its staffing platform. The company said it hired over 50 employees in the past six months. In addition to Tacoma and Seattle, Actriv has launched in Portland, Boise, Dallas, Phoenix and Vancouver, Washington.
Pattern Computer, headquartered in Redmond and founded in 2015, uses technology to find patterns in complex data. The company said it works with experts in oncology and microbiome research.
Seattle-based Valant offers electronic health records software for behavioral health practices, as the company said these professionals have different documentation and scheduling needs than those who provide primary care. Valant grew its headcount by 50% over the past year, the company said.
Redmond-based JaxJox, launched in 2016, has landed major celebrity clout over the past year, with Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson joining the advisory board in May and former NFL tight end Vernon Davis investing in the company in June. JaxJox offers a home gym with an adjustable kettlebell and dumbbells, a vibrating foam roller and a rotating touch screen.
Mozart Therapeutics, headquartered in Seattle, is targeting celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. The company launched in 2020 and raised a $55 million Series A round in October 2021.
Bothell-based Strive aims to improve muscle function with sensors that fit into compression clothing and analyze strength and function. The startup raised $6 million in late June, including backing from Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and former Ohio State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
ON A MISSION
Olympia-based nonprofit Port of Support has helped the region’s community members in need since its founding in 2017. Port of Support offers services like emergency housing assistance for domestic violence survivors, emergency rental assistance and resume building. The nonprofit said that last year it delivered 300 Easter baskets to low-income families in the Puget Sound region and paid out more than $45,000 in rental supportive services.
Bellevue-based Coolperx helps companies be more environmentally conscious when it comes to their brand merchandise, more commonly known as “swag.” Its clients include big names like Amazon, Google, T-Mobile and Microsoft.
Seattle-based Washington Maritime Blue, an alliance focused on maritime innovation, supported 35 early-stage startups secure total investments of more than $300 million, according to the organization. Its accelerator graduated nine startups this year.
Everett-based fusion company Zap Energy raised $160 million in June, at which time the company had just over 60 employees. The company is trying to create carbon-free energy by using heat to force atomic particles to collide and release energy.
Battery tech company Group14 Technologies, headquartered in Woodinville, raised $400 million in May, and the company plans to build a large-scale facility in Moses Lake slated to open in 2023. The company makes a silicon-based anode powder designed to replace graphite in batteries, with the aim of making batteries cheaper, smaller and longer-lasting. Its big-picture plans include electric vehicles.
Seattle-based Watson Immigration Law offers dedicated immigration services like visas for investors and entrepreneurs. The firm also helps with asylum and naturalization services, and the firm’s founding attorney, Tahmina Watson, hosts a podcast called “The Startup Visa Podcast.”
THE UNICORNS
Seattle-based sales software company Highspot raised a $248 million Series F round in January, pushing its value to $3.5 billion. The company had already raised $200 million and reached a value of $2.3 billion in 2021. Highspot had more than 800 employees at the time of its Series F round, and it counts major companies like Fiserv, Aetna and Adobe as clients.
Seattle-based customer data startup Amperity raised a $100 million Series D round last year and reached a value of more than $1 billion. The company, which has clients like Kroger and Alaska Airlines, had 225 employees as of July 2021. Amperity announced in February that Barry Padgett, previously the company’s chief operating officer, was taking over as CEO for Kabir Shahani, who left the role.
Seattle-based freight network startup Convoy in April raised $260 million between equity and venture debt, hitting a value of $3.8 billion. The company had about 1,300 employees at the time of the raise, but Convoy was also forced to lay off about 90 employees in June.
Bellevue-based contract management software company Icertis now has about 2,000 employees, up from 1,400 in March 2021. Icertis received an investment from SoftBank in October that valued the company at $5 billion, and it followed that up with an investment from the German software giant SAP SE for an undisclosed amount.
Seattle-based e-commerce startup Fabric hit a value of about $1.5 billion in February when the company raised a $140 million Series C round. The company also raised a $100 million Series B round in July 2021 and counts GNC, McDonald’s and Crate & Barrel as clients.
Seattle-based interviewing startup Karat raised a $110 million Series C round in October and reached a value of $1.1 billion. Earlier this year, the company partnered with tennis superstar Serena Williams to grow Karat’s Brilliant Black Minds program, which offers free job interview training and feedback to current and aspiring Black software engineers in the U.S.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES PLAYERS
Seattle-based financial data firm PitchBook has kept a pulse on the venture capital ecosystem in recent years. Together with the National Venture Capital Association, PitchBook has jointly produced quarterly Venture Monitor reports to inform readers on local and national trends.
Flying Fish Partners, a Seattle-based venture capital firm, closed a $70 million fund in May as a follow-up to the $37 million fund it began investing in 2018. The firm also expanded into Alberta that same month and named Tiffany Linke-Boyko to lead its Canadian operations.
Seattle-based venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group continues to back high-growth companies like SeekOut and OctoML. The firm raised over $500 million between two funds in late 2020 and added $120 million for a separate fund in December 2021.
Venture capital firm Fuse, based in Bellevue, has backed growing startups in the area like WellSaid Labs and Bttn. The firm launched in 2020 with former Ignition partners Cameron Borumand and Kellan Carter as founding and general partners, while former E.ventures partner Brendan Wales became the firm’s third general partner.
Seattle-based startup studio and venture capital firm Pioneer Square Labs has spun out local companies like SecureSave and Attunely since its founding in 2015. In March 2021, its venture arm raised $100 million to invest in early-stage companies.
Graham & Walker, formerly the Seattle-based networking organization Female Founders Alliance, rebranded in October. At the time of the rebrand, the company also announced a $10 million fund that has backers like Bank of American and American Airlines. According to Graham & Walker, two-thirds of the 105 investors are women, and one-third are people of color.
Want to stay ahead of who & what is next? Sent weekly, the Beat is your definitive look at Seattle’s innovation economy, offering news, analysis & more on the people, companies & ideas driving your region forward. Follow the Beat.

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