FT ranking: The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2023
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
The FT is pleased to announce this fourth annual ranking of the fastest growing companies in the Americas, covering a period when the region’s economies were powering out of the pandemic.
Our list is based on disclosed revenue growth between 2018 and 2021, when the dislocation of the pandemic was ending but the effects of rising interest rates were yet to be seen. As a result, the median revenue of ranked companies rose sharply, to $22.5mn — almost double last year’s figure of $12.2mn.
Heading the list, this year, is CDL 1000, a Chicago-based provider of software to logistics companies. Software and IT is the sector most represented on the list, home to 27 per cent of the fastest-growing companies, followed by pharma, cosmetics, healthcare and life sciences companies which account for a combined 15 per cent (continues below table).
* Companies marked with an asterisk had less than 12 months of revenue in the 2018 financial year, but still passed $100,000 revenue.
(continued). The vast majority of companies on the list are American — some 75 per cent — followed by Canada, with 15 per cent and Brazil with 5 per cent. Within the US, New York is the most common business location, with 36 companies on the list headquartered there. But most of the companies included are dispersed across the country. Some 81 per cent of fast-growing companies in the US are based outside the top four cities of New York, San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago.
Our list was compiled with Statista, a research company, and ranks entrants from across the Americas by their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue, between 2018 and 2021. The ranking is not necessarily a reflection of the size of countries’ economies but, rather, their ability to innovate and the willingness of their high-growth companies to be candid with financial information.
Readers can use the arrow buttons at the top of the columns in the table below to sort by country, sector or revenue, in order to analyse the data in more detail. If you switch from sorting by CAGR to sorting by total 2021 revenues, for instance, names such as Amazon, Tesla and Netflix all rise to the top. These businesses are among a total of 147 of the overall 500 to be listed on an exchange.
Because many fast-growing companies tend to be privately held and do not publicly disclose detailed financial data, a ranking such as this can never claim to be complete. But the rigorous screening process (please refer to the methodology below) — which also requires senior executives to sign off on the figures submitted by their companies — means the ranking can offer readers a meaningful insight into the health of these private companies.
The FT Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2023 is a list of the 500 companies in the Americas that have the highest growth in publicly disclosed revenues between 2018 and 2021.
The ranking was created through a complex procedure. Although the search was very extensive, the ranking does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not want to make their figures public or did not participate for other reasons.
The project was advertised online and in print, allowing all eligible companies to register via the websites created by Statista and the Financial Times. In addition, through research in company databases and other public sources, Statista identified tens of thousands of companies in the Americas as potential candidates for the FT ranking. These companies were invited to participate in the competition by post, email and telephone.
The application phase ran from September 2022 to January 2023. The submitted revenue figures had to be certified by the chief financial officer, chief executive, or a member of the executive committee of the company. Companies with three or fewer employees, or companies that are not a legal entity, were subject to additional checks to verify their revenue numbers.
CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION IN THE LIST
To be included in the list of the Americas’ fastest-growing companies, a company had to meet the following criteria:
• Revenue of at least $100,000 generated in 2018 (or currency value equivalent according to the average of the actual fiscal year).
• Revenue of at least $1.5mn generated in 2021 (or currency value equivalent according to the average of the actual fiscal year).
• An independent entity (not a subsidiary or branch office of any kind).
• Revenue growth between 2018 and 2021 that was primarily organic (ie “internally” stimulated).
• Headquartered in one of 20 American countries. Companies from these countries were eligible to participate: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the US, Uruguay, Venezuela.
CALCULATION OF GROWTH RATES
The calculation of company growth rates is based on the revenue figures submitted by the companies in the respective national currency. For better comparability in the ranking, the revenue figures were converted into US dollars. The average exchange rate for the financial year indicated by the company was used for this purpose.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was calculated as follows:
((revenue2021 / revenue2018)^(1/3)) — 1 = CAGR
The absolute growth between 2018 and 2021 was calculated as follows:
(revenue2021 / revenue2018) — 1 = Growth rate
EVALUATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
All information reported by the companies was processed and checked by Statista. Missing data entries (employee numbers, address data, etc) were researched in detail. Companies that did not fulfil the criteria for inclusion in the ranking were deleted.
In addition to the companies that responded to invitations to participate, Statista included some well-known companies noted for their remarkable growth. Financial information was collected via desk research using official sources, such as publicly available earnings presentations, investor relations websites, and annual reports.
The minimum CAGR required to be included in the ranking this year was 8.5 per cent.