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The third annual FT ranking of The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies captures the resilience of businesses as they adapted to the initial onslaught of the Covid pandemic, in 2020.
Since that initial response, business leaders across the region have vowed to “build back better” — with increased digitalisation across several sectors and faster improvements in green energy generation and infrastructure.
The technology sector enjoyed rapid growth as the coronavirus crisis deepened and more people began to work, shop and communicate through digital channels. Some companies have since seen their growth slow as lockdowns were lifted.
As with last year’s ranking, technology — led by North American companies — accounts for nearly 28 per cent of the overall list, followed by financial services (7 per cent) and health (6.4 per cent).
The FT 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 2017 and 2020.
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. Around 90 per cent of companies on the list hail from the US and Canada, versus 5 per cent from Brazil.
With health taking centre stage over the past couple of years, it is apt that the fastest-growing company on this latest ranking is a medical technology business (although it is not related to treating Covid-19). California-based Axionics specialises in products for patients with bladder and bowel dysfunction. With a 2017-20 CAGR of 855 per cent, it knocks last year’s winner, US lending platform Upgrade, off the top spot.
Axionics is followed in second and third place by Human Bees, a recruitment agency, and Coherus BioSciences, which develops therapeutics for oncology and inflammatory diseases.
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 2020 revenues, for instance, names such as Amazon, Tesla, Netflix and Wayfair all rise to the top. These businesses are among a total of 81 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 the table), 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.
Scroll below the interactive table for the full methodology.
* Companies marked with an asterisk had less than 12 months of revenue in the 2017 financial year, but still passed $100,000 revenue. ** Companies marked with a double asterisk have been acquired since the end of the relevant timeframe.
The FT Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2022 is a list of the 500 companies in the Americas that have the highest growth in publicly disclosed revenues between 2017 and 2020.
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 October 2021 to January 2022. 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 2017 (or currency value equivalent according to the average of the actual fiscal year).
• Revenue of at least $1.5mn generated in 2020 (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 2017 and 2020 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:
((revenue2020 / revenue2017)^(1/3)) — 1 = CAGR
The absolute growth between 2017 and 2020 was calculated as follows:
(revenue2020 / revenue2017) — 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 9.7 per cent.