13 Top Seattle Startups to Watch in 2023

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When it comes to thriving startup culture and entrepreneurial hubs that produce innovative and fast-growing startups, Seattle consistently ranks among the best cities to start a brand-new company from scratch. Home to tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle has a reputation for producing startup unicorns and being a place where invention and innovation reign supreme.

The rare startup ecosystem in Seattle makes this possible, where thriving incubators and accelerators, top-notch talent, and a growing number of angel investors and VCs converge. If a motivated entrepreneur has a vision for a product or service and wants to bring it to life by building a company from the ground up, taking advantage of the startup resources available in Seattle will allow them to acquire funding, build a team, and bring their idea to market in record time.

Today we’re going to explore some of the top Seattle startups and how they are making waves in their respective industries.

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Best Startups in Seattle to Follow

Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation, tech, and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the best Seattle startups of 2023 that startup-lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow.

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups in Seattle launching and growing, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. First Mode

  • Industry: Aerospace, Cleantech, Environmental Engineering
  • Founders: Joshua Weiss, Krunal Desai, Maggie Scholtz, Riley Chapin
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Grant, $8.8 Million
  • Investors Include: Anglo American

More and more startups are focusing on enabling a sustainable future for people all over the world. First Mode is a startup that’s designing and delivering products and systems that can be used for zero-emission mobility, the distribution and production of green energy, and ensuring that heavy industry can be decarbonized. First Mode’s team of engineers helps its clients achieve all of their sustainability goals and create new solutions to create a greener planet.

2. Ally.io

  • Industry: Data Integration, Enterprise Software, Human Resources
  • Founders: Vetri Vellore
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series C, $73 Million
  • Investors Include: Greenoaks Capital, Tiger Global Management, Madrona Venture Group

There are an endless number of tools businesses can use to set goals and help them execute their business strategies, but there are several new startups that are revolutionizing this niche of enterprise software. Ally.io is a startup that develops execution management software, allowing businesses to shift from disjointed execution and planning to an OKR-based framework that empowers their employees, enables transparency, and drives strong alignment and agility.

3. Legalpad

  • Industry: Legal Technology, Information Technology
  • Founders: Sara Itucas, Todd Heine
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Seed, $11.8 Million
  • Investors Include: Amplo, CX Collective, Trust Ventures

Legalpad is changing the way work visa applications are accepted and tracked by companies that hire international workers. With their legal technology, work visa applications are immediately made safer, faster, and better for startups. By combining human support with automation, Legalpad is able to solve the work visa problem and help more individuals pursue employment across borders.

Discover more legal tech startups.

4. Atomo Coffee

  • Industry: Coffee Technology, Coffee Products
  • Founders: Andy Kleitsch, Jarret Stopforth, Jarret Stopforth
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: Series A, $51.6 Million
  • Investors Include: AgFunder, Horizons Ventures, S2G Ventures

Atomo Coffee is developing new coffee technology dubbed “molecular coffee” in order to brew a perfect, smooth cup of coffee made of completely natural ingredients. With Atomo’s process and the work they put into reverse-engineering the regular coffee bean, they were able to create coffee that’s more sustainable than any commercial alternatives we have available today.

Explore more innovative coffee startups.

5. Downstream

  • Industry: Advertising, Machine Learning, Marketing
  • Founders: Connor Folley, Greg Mercer, Salim Hamed
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Seed, $6.7 Million
  • Investors Include: Alumni Ventures, MGV, Techstars Ventures

Downstream, also known as “Downstream Impact,” is an Amazon advertising software solution that allows brands to manage, measure, and optimize their Amazon presence. Connor Folley and Salim Hamed were former Amazon employees who went out on their own and designed a powerful AI-driven software platform that helps brands capitalize on Amazon’s ad business and exponentially grow their Amazon sales in the process.

6. Swiftly

  • Industry: Ecommerce, Shopping
  • Founders: Daniel Kim, Henry Kim, Karen Ho, Sean Turner
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series C, $215.6 Million
  • Investors Include: Wormhole Capital, Bramalea Partners, Liquid 2 Ventures

Swiftly is building a technology platform that provides turnkey solutions to retailers all over the nation, giving them the same digital tools ecommerce giants and large retail chains use to compete in the marketplace. Using these tools, retailers can increase their store visits, get more transactions per user, increase the annual spending of their customers, and much more.

See more of the top ecommerce startups.

7. OctoML

  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Software
  • Founders: Jared Roesch, Jason Knight, Luis Ceze, Thierry Moreau, Tianqi Chen
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: Series C, $131.9 Million
  • Investors Include: Tiger Global Management, Addition, Amplify Partners

Deploying machine learning models is a tedious process that often involves developing custom code from scratch and working through various bugs and errors before deployment. OctoML is aiming to change that by giving engineering teams an acceleration platform that makes it quick and easy to deploy machine learning models across cloud providers, edge devices, or hardware.

8. Nori

  • Industry: Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Marketplace
  • Founders: Christophe Jospe, Paul Gambill, Ross Kenyon
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Series A, $12.4 Million
  • Investors Include: M13, Placeholder, Toyota Ventures

Nori is a marketplace built for carbon dioxide removal, allowing anyone worldwide to pay for removing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. In essence, Nori has built a voluntary marketplace where suppliers can connect with buyers and reduce costs while simultaneously improving efficiency.

Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on how to start a startup.

9. AnswerIQ

  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Customer Service, Machine Learning
  • Founders: Pradeep Rathinam, Prashant Luthra
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Series A, $5 Million
  • Investors Include: Madrona Venture Group

AnswerIQ (acquired by FreshWorks) is a customer support solution that implements artificial intelligence into support requests and tickets. Using sophisticated algorithms, AnswerIQ is able to understand all of the interactions between a customer and a business, such as their past interactions, tickets, and support requests. The business can then intelligently classify each support request and respond to issues quickly. If a customer has a complex question, the software will assist the customer service representative with their answer.

10. AdaptiLab

  • Industry: B2B, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
  • Founders: Allen Lu, James Wu
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Seed, $2.1 Million
  • Investors Include: Trilogy Equity Partners, Techstars

AdaptiLab (acquired by CoderPad) is a startup that’s working to transform data science talent acquisition through a series of innovative ai-driven screenings, sourcing products, and skilling solutions. Using AdaptiLab, data scientists would be able to be recruited quickly and efficiently by companies that need top-notch talent the most.

11. Attunely

  • Industry: Financial Services, Fintech, Machine Learning
  • Founders: Ryan Kosai, Scott Ferris, Trip Edwards
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series A, $12.7 Million
  • Investors Include: Ascend, Anthos Capital, Vulcan Capital

Attunely is an innovative startup that’s combining machine learning models with debt collection, improving recovery yields, and decreasing waste. By training their machine learning model on over 100 million different interactions (including decades of debt collection history), they are able to significantly improve the recovery of receivables.

Discover more top fintech startups.

12. Factal

  • Industry: Business Information Systems, Information and Communications Tech (ICT)
  • Founders: Ben Tesch, Charlie Tillinghast, Cory Bergman
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Series A, $4.5 Million
  • Investors Include: Arthur Ventures, SeaChange

Factal is a startup company that allows individuals and businesses to rapidly react to global events by giving them the facts and trusted breaking news as soon as it’s available. When an event happens that has the potential to impact a particular business, Factal quickly relays the situation and information about appropriate responses.

13. Hyperproof

  • Industry: Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Compliance
  • Founders:  Craig Unger
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series A, $22.3 Million
  • Investors Include: Toba Capital

Hyperproof is a compliance operations software system on the cloud that automatically collects evidence and manages compliance programs intelligently. Organizations that use Hyperproof can protect their suppliers, partners, customers, and shareholders in a simple, effective manner.

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!


Is Seattle good for startups?

Seattle is a great place for startups and entrepreneurs alike due to its world-renowned startup culture where talent and investment cross. There are plenty of resources for startup founders in the city, and it’s a great place to network and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs.

How many startups are in Seattle?

There are currently over 600 different startup companies in the Seattle area, with many of them searching for funding, talent, and the opportunity to make an impact on their respective industries.

How many unicorns are in Seattle?

There are approximately 20+ unicorn startups in the Seattle area, with 14 Seattle-area companies worth at least $1 billion. The amount of unicorns Seattle produces is a testament to its thriving startup ecosystem.

What are popular startup industries in Seattle?

Seattle is home to startups in a wide range of industries, but technology and life sciences are particularly prominent in the area. If an entrepreneur wants to choose a city that has vast connections and resources for starting any company revolving around technology or science, Seattle is an excellent place to go.

What are some successful Seattle companies?

Some of the most successful companies in Seattle include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Deloitte Digital, Avanade, Verizon, Expeditors, and Carrix. While not all of these companies were originally founded in Seattle, many have made Seattle their home and have prominent headquarters in the city.

How do I start a startup in Seattle?

If you want to start a new startup in Seattle, the first thing you need to do is assess your entrepreneurial skills and develop your startup idea. Once you have your idea, create a roadmap and business plan for you to follow, develop your initial products or services, get funding if you need it, and begin to establish your brand. Hire a team and additional help as required.

About the Author

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