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2023 is already shaping into a year for the history books. The tech industry alone has seen massive change just within its first month as budgets tighten amid economic uncertainty. But not all sectors have been affected the same way.
Bootstrapped businesses— privately-owned, pre-transacted companies — are not only the most populous type of company in the economy, but they also provide investors with coveted proprietary opportunities. This year's list of fastest-growing bootstrapped companies touts some of the highest 12-month growth values we've seen. But finding these companies can be a challenge. Many publicly reveal next to no information about themselves, and what is available is often inaccurate or outdated.
That's why the latest deal sourcing platforms are imperative for private equity firms and investment bankers to find their next target bootstrapped investment. These tools surface data signals that indicate the growth trajectory and investment readiness of these elusive businesses, among other important information like executive contact info. Then, they vet that information across several sources (sometimes hundreds of thousands) to ensure firms get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
We used SourceScrub’s deal sourcing platform to find the top 50 pre-transacted companies that have shown the most growth in the past year. And as our list clearly shows, investment opportunity still abounds— if you look in the right places. Let's dive in!
Compared to last year's list, the fastest-growing bootstrapped businesses couldn't be more different. Not only are they located in just five countries versus eleven in 2021, but their industry breakdown and company sizes are incredibly dissimilar. Over three-quarters of the companies in our top 50 list hail from the United States (compared to 36% in 2021). Germany and Great Britain tied for second at 10% each, followed by Sweden and France at 2% each.
Following a similar theme, the industries in which these companies operate are very different. While technology, consulting, and healthcare dominated the rankings in last year’s list at 28%, 20%, and 16%, respectively, this year, manufacturing takes the top spot at 20%. Healthcare (18%) and business services (14%) round out the top three with consumer services, software development services, retail, and food service each at 8%. Three of the top industries from 2021 — hospitality and travel, energy, oil, and gas, and financial services — are absent.
It’s also worth noting that despite the rising popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, none of the companies on our list are focused on AI. However, this is likely the case because businesses that build these types of technologies typically get funding early (and thus wouldn't make our list). This is another reason why a robust deal sourcing platform is an integral part of dealmakers’ tech stacks: Getting in early, making the right connections, and securing deals before anyone else will be a crucial differentiator for 2023.
Finally, the sizes of these companies are also more varied compared to last year’s breakdown. The largest segment, businesses with 51 - 200 employees (42%), nearly equals the next 2 segments combined of 201 - 500 employees (22%) and 501 - 1000 (18%). This places most of the highest-growth bootstrapped companies for 2022 within the mid-market.
As our findings clearly show, despite economic headwinds, the bootstrapped company landscape is growing, thriving, and offers incredible opportunities for dealmakers who know how to find them.
After finding and analyzing the whole list, here are the top 10 fastest-growing non-transacted, bootstrapped companies, based on their growth over the past 12 months, listed alphabetically:
A&E Arborists TreeCare, Inc. specializes in residential, commercial, and contract pruning, property management, removals, and tree assessments. The company delivers excellence in tree removal, tree trimming, fire fuel reduction, and land-clearing projects of all sizes.
Penergy Technologies, Inc. (doing business as eFAACT) is a leader in the arena of government compliance, especially when it pertains to government contractors using QuickBooks. It helps all organizations manage government contracts with the same precision as larger organizations, using fewer resources.
FreeCAD is a general-purpose 3D CAD modeler. The development is completely Open Source (GPLand LGPL License) and aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design. However, FreeCAD can also help across a broader range of uses in engineering, such as architecture. It features tools similar to Catia, SolidWorks, or Solid Edge and falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx, and CAE.
LocalPages, Inc. provides geo-targeted traffic to national and local businesses via search, email, display, and lead generation — all within its proprietary platform. The company offers an exclusive selection of white-labeled licensed platform products for some of the industry's most highly regarded networks and companies.
National Surgical Centers of America
National Surgical Centers of America, LLC (NSCOA) is an Ambulatory Surgery Center in Lady Lake, Florida. The health care facilities allow patients to have selected surgical and procedural services performed outside of hospitals.
Premier Workforce, Inc. is a national merchandising team providing retailers, product manufacturers, and product display companies with quality installation services. Recognized in the industry for providing reliable and cost-effective results for retail projects, the company offers many services, including new store setup, remodels, and relocation.
prolutions GmbH researches and develops solutions in the field of lower limb prostheses, specializing in solutions for transfemoral amputees.
One of Sweden's largest wood products companies, Setra Group processes raw materials from responsibly managed forests and offers environmentally friendly products and solutions for building and living in a global market. The company provides and sells bioproducts such as bark, chips, and sawdust to customers in the paper and pulp industry and for energy production.
Ultra Electronics 3 Phoenix (UE3P) is an engineering business specializing in system design, integration, and delivery, and is focused on providing innovative technology solutions to the Department of Defense and its industry partners. UE3P has established a reputation for driving innovation and implementing complex system solutions on leading-edge commercial hardware.
Klein Publishing, Ltd. (doing business as Where To Buy Directory) publishes a directory of where businesses can find basic, industrial, agricultural, special, pharmaceutical, performance, and domestic chemicals.
This list is just a small portion of the more than 30 million pre-transacted companies in the market. Eager to see the rest? Download our top 50 list and see what deals you're missing out on without a deal sourcing platform like SourceScrub.