In the business world, new and sexy doesn't always mean lucrative.

It was companies in older, established industries--health, along with logistics and transportation--that achieved astronomical revenue growth in 2017, according to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. While the list represents only a fragment of the businesses and startups operating in the country, it does highlight which sectors are experiencing massive returns.

For example, businesses in the health industry booked a combined $36.3 billion in revenue in 2017, making it by far the biggest industry on this year's list. At No. 9 on the Inc. 5000 this year, Scientist.com was the top company in the category. The Solana Beach, California-based startup is an online marketplace where pharmaceutical companies can outsource work like toxicology tests and gene editing to thousands of vendors. Scientist.com says it can reduce the outsourcing process, which can take up to six months, to just a single day. It takes a 5 percent cut of the organizations' fees for each transaction, generating $50.3 million in 2017 revenue.

All told, there were 380 health-related businesses on the Inc. 5000 list this year. What's more, women's reproductive health was one of the best industries for starting a business this year. Inc. found the sector was gaining traction as more women began taking control of their reproductive health by tracking their fertility or buying organic menstruation products.

Logistics and transportation ranked No. 4 on the list of biggest industries for Inc. 5000 companies, with $12.6 billion in combined 2017 revenue. Nearly $100 million of that came from the No. 1 company on the list, SwanLeap, which makes software for logistic companies. The Madison, Wisconsin-based startup​ uses artificial intelligence to ensure that businesses get the best possible rate when shipping freight. SwanLeap says its services save customers an average of nearly 27 percent.

Here are the top 10 biggest industries of the Inc. 5000 this year, including total revenue and the total number of Inc. 5000 companies.

1. Health

Total revenue: $36.3 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 380

2. Financial services

Total revenue: $15.1 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 236

3. Consumer products and services

Total revenue: $14.4 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 298

4. Logistics and transportation

Total revenue: $12.6 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 164

5. Business products and services

Total revenue: $12.5 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 460

6. Construction

Total revenue: $12.5 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 333

7. Government services

Total revenue: $11.7 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 253

8. Real estate

Total revenue: $8.1 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 225

9. Retail

Total revenue: $8 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 179

10. Security

Total revenue: $7.7 billion

Total number of Inc. 5000 companies: 66

Published on: Oct 23, 2018