The 2019 honorees of the Inc. 5000 are doing their part to bolster New York City's reputation as the fashion, finance, and media capital of the world. Of the city's top 10 fastest-growing companies, three are financial firms (though not necessarily the sort you would expect). Representing media, there's one ad-tech firm, one creative agency, and one upstart that designs targeted campaigns for, well, campaigns (of the political variety). While no traditional fashion companies floated to the top of the list in 2019, one jewelry business made the cut by selling custom engagement rings--and applying a bit of Warby Parker's model. Read on to learn New York City entrepreneurs' formulas for super-fast growth this year.
10. Sweet Loren's
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 114 | Three-year growth 3,026.4% | 2018 revenue $6.4M
After beating cancer, Loren Brill sought to elimitate processed foods from her diet--but she loved baked goods and treats. She designed her own gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan cookie dough, which can be eaten raw or baked into a variety of desserts. Sweet Loren's, which Brill founded in 2010, now sells four varieties of "place-and-bake" cookie dough packets and two kinds of edible dough in tubs, in grocery chains such as Kroger, Publix, Stop & Shop, and Safeway.
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 97 | Three-year growth 3,350% | 2018 revenue $13.7M
Serial entrepreneurs Scott Lynn and Keith Smith founded Payability in 2014, aiming to help app developers finance their work. In 2016, they discovered that big online marketplaces didn't immediately pay sellers for their sales, causing cash-flow squeezes. Payability designed finance programs for sellers on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms, and grew from 10 to 54 employees in three years.
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 59 | Three-year growth 4,838% | 2018 revenue $107.6M
One of New York City's fastest-growing companies for the second year in a row, Progyny is cashing in on corporations' efforts to provide top-shelf woman- and family-friendly benefits to employees. The business provides workers at its client companies with the entire range of services--from round-the-clock counseling to doctors to medications--that they might need when pursuing fertility treatments. "Companies are realizing they need to show their support for their female and LGBTQ+ workforce," CEO David Schlanger says. "By adding a robust family-building benefit, they're able to attract and retain a diverse pool of talent, and show they value their employees."
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 46 | Three-year growth 5,768.2% | 2018 revenue $16.9M
Launched in 2014 by Ari Paparo, a veteran of programmatic ad marketplace AppNexus and online-reviews engine Bazaarvoice, Beeswax develops advertising software to help clients improve their marketing and brand recognition. Offering corporate customers a cloud-based real-time ad-bidding platform, the startup has grown from seven to 56 employees over the past three years.
6. IQM Corporation
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 44 | Three-year growth 5,852.2% | 2018 revenue $8.8M
Inspired by watching how Barack Obama's strong digital campaign had aided his ascent to the White House, in 2014 Bhargav Patel and a group of his college buddies founded a company to help campaigns and advocacy organizations use targeted data to find voters. IQM ran its first campaign, for Senator Bernie Sanders, in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, and has since run more than 500 others.
5. Fund That Flip
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 42 | Three-year growth 6,017.9% | 2018 revenue $6M
Founded in 2014, this New York City-based company provides people interested in purchasing, renovating, and reselling a home with a platform for finding investors. In other words: crowdfunding flipping homes. Fund That Flip's staff has grown fast over the past three years, from five to 41 employees.
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 41 | Three-year growth 6,055.9% | 2018 revenue $8M
By 2015, Jeff Lin had spent a decade on Wall Street, on the trading desks at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. His buddy Dan Weinberg had passed the decade working in sports marketing. After observing the recent boom in the subscription box market, the pair, both huge sports fans, wanted to start a company that sold a selection of team apparel and goods. But who needs 10 Florida Gators shirts? After surveying hundreds of potential customers, the founders pinpointed their target market: Women buying gifts for the sports enthusiasts in their lives. They abandoned the subscription idea, and instead decided to sell curated gift boxes of licensed sports products, including clothing, accessories, and home decor. (Boxes range in price from $59 to $189, and a range of NFL, NHL, and college teams are available.) The company is nearing profitability, bolstered by affiliation with high-profile athletes like Drew Brees and Von Miller (both invested in the company), and partnerships with websites such as FabFitFun and the Skimm.
3. With Clarity
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 18 | Three-year growth 9,179.3% | 2018 revenue $19M
When Anubh Shah was ready to ask Slisha Kankariya to marry him, he couldn't find a ring that spoke to him. It was 2014, and 3-D printing was nearly everywhere--so, he thought, why not apply it to the high-end jewelry market? Together the couple started a company that enables customers to design their own custom engagement ring. With Clarity first mails them replicas of their designs to try on, and then lets them select their diamond online, complete with its gemological certification and a video.
2. Anchor Worldwide
2019 Inc. 5000 rank No. 16 | Three-year growth 9,753.2% | 2018 revenue $11M
Anchor Worldwide was founded by Sebastian Eldridge and a collection of other creative agency veterans in 2015, and funded by Iceland's only billionaire, Thor Bjorgolfsson. It's a global creative, production, and media agency that works with clients such as ESPN, Amazon, and Cargill to boost their brand awareness and revenue. The company has grown in recent years through acquisitions of other small creative agencies around the world, increasing its head count to more than 110.
Inc. 5000 rank No. 14 | Three-year growth 10,561% | 2018 revenue $19M
This online investment- and digital-wealth-management platform was founded in 2015 by Milind Mehere, the former co-founder of online-marketing company Yodle, along with former hedge-fund managers Michael Weisz and Dennis Shields. YieldStreet is not your standard investment tool: It offers customers the ability to invest in litigation, art, office, marine, and construction projects. Over the past three years, its investments have had an average return rate of more than 12 percent.