Location: Seattle | Employees: Under 50
Predicting the most likely future is the aim of Turi’s customers, who use Turi’s machine-learning system to code their own analytics applications more quickly and efficiently than even a team of programmers could. Turi’s GraphLab development platform helps data scientists, like those at Zillow, Cisco and Zynga, create Netflix-style recommendation engines, design systems to detect fraud, or predict customer churn, segmentation and sentiment. Turi (formerly GraphLab and then Dato) grew from the research of CEO Carlos Guestrin, formerly of Carnegie Mellon University and now the Amazon Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Washington. Guestrin’s expertise in distributed computing and data modeling allows Turi to bring sophisticated analytics within closer reach. Matt McIlwain, managing director of lead investor Madrona Venture Group, notes, “Carlos Guestrin is a unique talent in both his deep understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence.” Many were surprised when the purchase of Turi by Apple, for around $200 million, was revealed in August. The company’s operations remain in Seattle, with some expansion likely. It’s a happy outcome for this predictions outfit that few saw coming.
Location: Kirkland | Employees: 400+
We all know Seattle traffic is bad, but Inrix, a provider of real-time traffic data, can tell you how bad, and when and where it’s likely to get worse. Actually, we tell Inrix, as more than 275 million cars and devices worldwide feed Inrix’s platforms through navigation systems auto manufacturers install in their vehicles. The company’s scope strategically expands by tracking parking availability as well, and its recent acquisition of Pioneer Square startup OpenCar positions Inrix in the nascent market for connected cars.
Location: Seattle | Employees: 90
Just as Google Maps connects your apps to your location, this big data analytics firm wants to connect your apps to products near you — or, like Expedia, near where you want to be. With offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Chennai, India, Indix’s product database currently tracks more than 800 million products across more than 7,000 categories, connecting sellers and buyers with the perfect item at the needed time, transforming retailing through mobile apps.