The 50 fastest growing companies | startups in Europe, UK and Germany lead

15 May 2018 8 min. read
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An analysis of Europe’s fastest growing companies and startups shows that the UK and Germany remain the continent's hot-spots for growth and innovation. UK's Deliveroo, Germany's Thermondo, and Spain's Traventia Viajes top the table. 

For the second year in a row, the Financial Times and Statista have partnered to reveal data on the most rapidly growing companies across Europe. An analysis of revenue growth between over a three-year period sheds light on the 1,000 fastest growing European companies.

Despite the versatility of locations for these firms, with companies from 31 different countries making the list, the top 50 is dominated by companies based in the UK. Over a fifth of the top end of the list was taken up by UK firms – a total of 11 companies – while in the top 1,000 overall, 157 companies were listed as being based in the UK, of which 73 operate from London.

The 20 fastest growing companies and startups in Europe

Rapidly-growing pioneer businesses were central to the recovery of the European economy in the 21st century, creating new opportunities for employment and sustaining strong competition across the continent’s markets.

Fastest growing companies

Top of the pile, bicycle-based food delivery disruptor Deliveroo usurped last year’s most rapidly growing company, German food company HelloFresh, which resides at 18th this time around, after its revenue growth dropped from 13,159% to a still-impressive 3,989%. The UK-based Deliveroo meanwhile boasted CAGR growth of 923.5%, and revenue growth of 107,117%, followed by German energy innovator Thermondo – which grew more slowly by some distance, at 10,878% revenue growth and 378.8% in terms of CAGR.

A further two UK companies featured in the top 10, with automotive sales platform Carwow (#6) and energy group Local Fuel (#8) both recording CAGR of more than 6,000%. Germany and Spain were similarly prolific at the very peak of the list. Chemical firm Formycon (#7) and advertisers Global Savings Group (#10) added to the German presence, while Spain saw trio of construction company Alainsa (#4) and travel firms Traventia Viajes (#3) and iTravex (#5) each breach CAGR of 8,000%. French firm Project X Paris was the only other top 10 presence, the fashion house placing ninth with 6,663% CAGR.

The 20-50 fastest growing companies and startups in Europe

Positions 11-25

UK based FinTech Smarkets posted CAGR of 5,046% to rank 11th, while French support services group VLC Travel became the last company between 2013-2016 to record CAGR over 5,000%. The UK contingent in the top 25 is rounded off by a further five firms.

Cheevers Howard, a British construction group, saw CAGR growth of 4,471%, ranked highest of these in 15th place. A cluster of four saw financial services company Blue Motor Finance (#21, 3,675%), travel firm Stratajet (#23, 3,634%), aerospace firm AerFin (#23, 3,625%) and financial services group TransferWise (#24, 3,392%) boost Britain’s presence in the analysis of fast growing firms further.

France, Germany and Spain each saw a further two firms grace the top 25. Alongside the previously mentioned HelloFresh, Germany was represented by Germanimals, an agricultural commodities firm with CAGR of 4,763% in 13th place. French technology firm SendinBlue (#14, 4,596%) and telecoms group Actility (#25, 3,377%) further add to the firms from France, while fast-growing companies Marfeel Solutions (#16) and Petroprix Energia (#17, 4,033%) do the same for Spain.

The 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe by country

Completing the top quarter century of firms, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands both see a firm make the grade. Czech technology firm STRV ranks 19th with 3,936% CAGR, while Dutch technology firm Bynder ranks 20th with 3,712%.

Positions 26-50

Rounding off the British presence in the fastest growing companies in Europe, GoCardless, a FinTech based in London, recorded CAGR of 2,313% to rank 43rd while following close behind, financial services company Optal brought in 2,276% growth to rank 44th.

Germany has a further five companies in the top 50 – with Metacrew Group (#28), Shokes (#29), ZEMA IT (#31), Yieldlove (#39) and DCMN (#45) taking the nation’s tally to 10 of Europe’s fastest growing firms. Spain meanwhile sees a further seven firms appear in the analysis. Unidriver (#33), Eurocio Freetime (#27), Gestaweb 2020 (#34), SNTI Nutritional Suplements (#35), ID Finance (#36), Moonoff (#38), Smadex (#50). With 12 places, Spain is the most common presence in the list.

Elsewhere, Poland counted four firms among the top 50 fastest growing companies in Europe. Benhauer (#26), Tooploox (#30), RTB House (#46) and CodiLime (#49) all saw CAGR of over 2,000% to secure their places as some of the most rapidly expanding groups. France added a further five companies as well. My Show Must Go On (#37), everBe (#40), Avenir Renovations (#41), Conserto (#42), All Seafood Company (#47) all ranked highly, while the Netherlands (Catawiki, #48) and Finland (Framery, #32) also added to their presence.

National changes

Beyond the top 50, in the Financial Times and Statista’s full 1000 strong list, Germany hosts the most rapidly growing companies overall. 266 firms reside in the EU’s largest economy, generating a collective revenue of €3.8 billion. However, while the UK hosts over 100 fewer, the nation’s rapidly growing companies also see a much higher collective revenue of €6.9 billion, and a higher average revenue per firm.

The 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe by city

Proportionally, France also has a far less prosperous sector of fast growing companies than the UK. The 197 analysed have a combined revenue of €1.6 billion, and a lower average per firm than either the UK or Germany.

74 of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses reside in the UK capital according to this most recently available data, beating Paris with 62 and Milan’s 25, while the UK’s tech start-up scene drew almost £3 billion of venture capital funding in 2017, twice the level of 2016 and four times more than Germany.

With Brexit approaching, London still heads the list of cities playing host to these companies, although as these figures come from 2016 at the latest, there is still no way of telling how the fateful referendum of that same year will since have effected that, and the booming French tech sector, with fast growing companies having risen to 62 in Paris, from 45 in the previous result, suggests that the French capital might be a destination for start-ups leaving the UK to maintain tariff-free trade links with the continent.

Europe’s fast growing companies – industry analysis

Last year, the IT and software sector was representative of 11% of all the firms listed. This year, the rephrased ‘technology’ sector accounts for an expanded 16%,contributing 155 companies to the list, while ‘support services’ make up 10%. While technology companies make up the largest section of the fastest growing companies in Europe numerically, however, they contribute less in terms of revenue than support services – demonstrating that while there has been a boom in investment in technology, in the longer-term, it is the need of clients and customers to access support services to utilise that technology that will possibly be the largest presence in years to come.

Related: The countries and cities with the most fastest growing companies.