America's Most Promising Companies: The Top 25 Of 2014

Jan 22 2014, 9:15am CST | by

America's Most Promising Companies: The Top 25 Of 2014

Two years ago, when I first started working on this list as an intern, Eric Ethans and Annie Lawless were barely making rent, hawking homemade organic juice out of Igloo coolers and repurposed coconut water bottles. Today Suja is one of the fastest growing consumer product companies in the country, poised to do $50 million in sales in just its second full year of business.

What a difference 24 months makes.

America’s Most Promising Companies: The Top 25 Of 2014

Rocketship growth isn’t uncommon on our list of America’s Most Promising Companies, a ranking of high-growth, privately-held companies with under $250 million in annual revenue. In fact, it’s what we look for. But to watch a management team crack open a ripe new market and hang on for dear life as top line explodes is still good fun.

Take our No. 4 pick, Evolent Health. Backed by $130 million in growth capital, the company is moving quickly in the wake of the Affordable Care Act to help hospitals lower healthcare premiums by setting up their own insurance businesses. It’s an ambitious, complicated task. Run by former Advisory Board CEO Frank Williams, the company did $8.3 million in sales in 2012, its first full year of business. Last year: $40 million.

But it doesn’t always take tens of millions in capital, or expertise in a complex market, to fuel such growth. CardCash.com, for one, holds an unlikely slot in our top 25. The company runs an unremarkable-looking website out of East Windsor, N.J. that buys unwanted gift cards off consumers, then resells them to pocket the difference. It might buy a $100 iTunes giftcard for $70 for instance, then sell it for $95. After years of bootstrapping, the company took $6 million from Guggenheim Partners in November. But even before that capital infusion, CardCash was well on its way to triple-digit growth. Sales jumped from $17 million in 2012 to $56 million last year.

For some companies, it takes a bit more meandering. Yext, which helps brick-and-mortar businesses sync prosaic data like phone numbers, addresses, business hours and product offerings across 46 different websites–Facebook, Yelp and Yahoo! among them–needed five years and a $30 million spin-off to finally settle on a long term business model. Now sales are doubling each year.

 Methodology

Though we prize growth numbers on our Most Promising list, top line doesn’t say everything. We want sustainable growth, so we strive to take a holistic gauge of the companies that apply. Over the course of four months we reviewed hundreds of applications from businesses across the country. The final assessment is based on growth (both in sales and hiring), quality of management team and investors, margins, market size and key partnerships. Then we spoke to each company to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Producing a ranking in the opaque world of privately-held companies is never easy. But we’re confident that many of these are the IPOs and billion-dollar acquisitions of tomorrow.

Follow me @JJColao and on Facebook.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Britons seek fewer work hours as longer hours injurious to health
London, Nov 28 (IANS) With recent research showing that long working hours can make us ill and ineffective, one in 10 Britons would like to work fewer hours, says a new Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey.
 
 
Iranian woman dances without hijab defying country's laws
Tehran, Nov 28 (IANS) An Iranian woman has defied the country's ultra-restrictive laws by dancing publicly without her hijab (veil), and what is more, it was filmed and posted on social media.
 
 
17th century Polish 'vampire' graves found
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Potential "vampires" in 17th-18th century Poland were buried with rocks and sickles across their bodies to ward off evil, scientists have discovered.
 
 
Human-induced nitrogen pollution big threat to ocean
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Human activity, particularly in industrial and agricultural processes, has had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle, a new study warns.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Apple Black Friday Sale Released
The Apple Black Friday 2014 Sale has launched online at the Apple Store. Apple has announced a huge charity promotion to fight AIDS for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Apple will donate a portion of the sales the company...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
A look at Black Friday video game deals
All major retailers will be getting in the video game Black Friday spirit. PS4 and XBox One will certainly be two consoles that should garner huge sales but actual games should do good as well. One thing that is for...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Comics looking for event filled Black Friday
While video games and other electronic gadgets look to be the big draw on deals during Black Friday, comic book readers and fans will be able to find their fair share of deals as well. It has been announced that two...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Anna Kendrick positive after nude photo leak
Anna Kendrick is looking at the positives following the recent hacking of her nude photos. The 'Pitch Perfect' star - whose naked pictures were posted online by hackers earlier this year alongside other stars like...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies. The 'Imitation Game' actor - who recently announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter - won't be personally taking any photos of him and his bride on their wedding day and instead would...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
James Franco filmed threesome with Zachary Quinto
James Franco and Zachary Quinto filmed a threesome for their new film 'Michael'. The actors took part in the sexy scene alongside the former 'Desperate Housewives' star Charlie Carver for the upcoming drama, according...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
UN condemns attack on British embassy vehicle
United Nations, Nov 28 (IANS) The UN Security Council (UNSC) has condemned the attack on a British embassy vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan. "The members of the UNSC expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Not all mosquitoes can transmit malaria
New York, Nov 28 (IANS) A genetic study has revealed that certain species of mosquitoes have evolved to better transmit malaria than even some of their close cousins. The study may advance understanding about the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Rio judge ends Olympic golf course impasse
Rio de Janeiro, Nov 28 (IANS) A Rio de Janeiro judge has rejected a request by public prosecutors to suspend an environmental permit for work on the 2016 Olympic golf course. Judge Eduardo Antonio Klausner said there...
Read more on Sport Balla