United States

Seattle

"Seattle leads in tech communities, with abundant programmers and investment opportunities. Its success in cloud computing, AI, and Ecommerce sets it apart as a hub for innovation and action."

John Sechrest
Founder, Seattle Angel Conference
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Highlights

Seattle is the birthplace of Microsoft and Amazon as well as many other decacorns, creating a vibrant tech ecosystem that is an ideal breeding ground for future unicorns. Seattle ranked #12 in the 2022 America’s Best Cities report, and household income was found to be the sixth highest nationally.

While the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 have seen large rounds of layoffs at many of the city’s tech companies, about 79% of recently laid off workers were landing a new job within three months in the last quarter of 2022, according to a ZipRecruite report. There are an estimated 155,000 information workers in the region, and the Seattle area ranked as the best city for STEM professions, according to a study from WalletHub.

The AWS Impact Accelerator, run by Amazon Web Services, was launched in April 2022 to support early-stage startups led by Black, women, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ founders. Startups receive up to $125,000 in cash and $100,000 in AWS credits. The Buerk Center promotes entrepreneurship across the University of Washington campus.

Seattle’s reputation as a tech hub attracts a host of startup-related events each year, including the 2023 Venture Capital World Summit, the biannual Seattle Angel Conference, the GeekWire Summit, and various other meetups. Retail media platform Swiftly has raised a total of $215.6 million over three rounds. Its was a September 2022 Series C round of $100 million, helping the company become the latest Seattle-area startup to reach a $1 billion valuation.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(H2 2020 - 2022)
$133 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $34.6 bn
TOTAL EARLY–STAGE FUNDING
(H2 2020 - 2022)
$5.2 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $970 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE GROWTH
(H2 2020 - H2 2022 VS H2 2018 - H2 2020)
46%
46% 46 98 47% 47 100 0
GLOBAL AVG. 47%
NUMBER OF UNICORNS
(H2 2020 - 2022)
17
GLOBAL AVG. 4
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (H2 2020 - 2022)
$1.5 m
GLOBAL AVG. $821 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (H2 2020 - 2022)
$10 m
GLOBAL AVG. $6 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2022)
$115 k
GLOBAL AVG. $46 k
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH (2019 - 20 VS. 2021 - 22)
3
Scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2018 - 2022)
$26 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $6.6 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2018 - 2022)
8.7 years
GLOBAL AVG. 9 years
EXIT AMOUNT (2018 - 2022)
$46 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 11.3 bn
EXIT COUNT (#)
(2018 - 2022)
355
GLOBAL AVG. 91
93
77
47
77
61
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022

Sub-Sector Strengths

AI, Big Data & Analytics

In January 2023 IonQ, a leader in quantum computing, announced plans to open the first dedicated quantum-computing manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Seattle. The company plans to invest $1 billion in the Pacific Northwest over the next decade. In March 2022, VC firm Flying Fish announced it had raised $70 million for its second fund to invest in early-stage machine-learning and AI startups. Serverless data analytics platform MotherDuck has raised $47.5 million over two rounds, including a $35 million Series A in November 2022.

Life Sciences

Seattle is a hub for Life Sciences and research talent Global biotech company Seagen and Sana Biotechnology are both building facilities in the Seattle area. Google acquired Sound Life Sciences, makers of an app to monitor breathing, in October 2022. Synthetic biology company Arzeda has raised $51.4 million over 10 rounds. Clinical-stage biotech company Aurion Biotechnologies raised a $120 million venture round in April 2022. Drug discovery company Cajal Neuroscience raised a $96 million Series A in November 2022.

Agtech & New Food

Precision agriculture company IUNU has raised $45.7 million, including a $24 million Series C in March 2022. Indoor agriculture startup Koidra will share a $3.77 million research grant raised in October 2022 with two universities to continue developing data-driven growth of produce. Biosensing platform Strella Biotechnology has raised $11.8 million over four rounds, including an $8 million Series A in June 2022. Lithos Carbon, which transforms farmland into carbon capture centers, raised a $6.3 million seed round in October 2022.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Seattle

Established Tech Scene

Seattle’s tech industry is well established and attracts aspiring entrepreneurs and tech workers alike. Over 165,000 Seattle residents work in technology. Nearly half of all knowledge jobs in the city are technology related and the industry occupies 42% of all office space. Tech jobs here are expected to grow 8.7% by 2026.

Strong Talent Pool

Seattle offers a robust talent pool to draw from thanks to its many universities and reputation as a tech hub. The city leads the U.S. in tech job creation, according to CBRE’s 2022 annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranked the city #2 overall. The region is among the 10 most educated metropolitan areas in the country, with 36% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree.

Strategic Location

Located on the west coast and within easy reach of nature and the Canadian border, Seattle offers a high quality of life residents with a strategic location. The Port of Seattle is one of the busiest ports in the world, a leading economic engine for the region, and a key hub for Pacific trade. Two airports connect the city to the world.

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