Like Silicon Valley in the U.S., Europe's entrepreneurial hotspots, including Sweden's Stockholm and Tallinn in Estonia, get a lot of attention. Yet Europe overall fueled sizeable growth among private companies, per this latest Inc. 5000 Europe Special Report.
In the three-year period ending in 2017, Inc.'s tally of the fastest-growing private companies in Europe notched an average 549 percent revenue growth. The results among the top 10 fastest-growing companies were even more striking. From an e-bike retailer in Kufstein, Austria to one of the biggest wholesalers of work gloves in all of Russia, these companies watched their revenue skyrocket 10,973 percent and 8,441 percent, respectively, since 2014.
Here's a closer look at the top fastest-growing European companies:
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 10 Three-year growth 8,441% 2017 revenue €18 million
This Saint Petersburg, Russia-based construction clothing outfitter is one of the biggest wholesale suppliers to the Russian Federation. Its specialty is work gloves, and it offers a wide variety, from artificial fur-lined to reinforced to insulated. The company has been in operation since 2004.
9. Startline Motor Finance Limited
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 9 Three-year growth 8,475% 2017 revenue €21 million
Under CEO Paul Burgess, Startline, a Glasgow, Scotland-based auto lender, which offers more flexible lending terms to buyers who have less-than-stellar credit histories, has ushered in impressive growth. In 2018, alone, it doubled its staff to 80, after it moved its customer service operation in-house. Its business volume, by year-end, also ticked up by more than 20 percent.
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 8 Three-year growth 9,233% 2017 revenue €33.7 million
Kristall is a wine and liquor distributor based in Maikop, Russia. With an inventory of more than 2,000 products, Kristall distributes goods throughout Russia using roughly 30 transport vehicles, according to its website. The 10-year-old company had 162 employees in 2017, up from 27 in 2014.
7. F 3 Motors S.R.L.
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 7 Three-year growth 10,956% 2017 revenue €31.1 million
Based in Messina, Italy, F 3 Motors is an official Mercedes-Benz car dealership selling vehicles and offering maintenance services and financial counseling for clients interested in leasing or purchasing an automobile. Under CEO Giacomo Caselli, the company witnessed substantial growth in the three-year period ended in 2017, during which time it doubled its workforce.
6. Greenstorm Mobility GmbH
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 6 Three-year growth 10,973% 2017 revenue €73.6 million
Greenstorm Mobility sells refurbished electric bicycles from makers including Ghost, Bergamont, and Haibike. According to its website, the Kufstein, Austria-based company buys the latest models, which get used by hotel customers for one season in exchange for hotel-room vouchers. The company then sells the vouchers--and after biking season, it sells its refurbished e-bikes to end users for less than full price. Led by Philipp Zimmermann and Richard Hirschhuber, Greenstorm has around 50 employees and a stock of 3,500 e-bikes.
5. GA Smart Building
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 5 Three-year growth 12,950% 2017 revenue €89.5 million
GA Smart Building is a real estate development company based in Toulouse, France, that designs and constructs sustainable buildings and structures. GA Smart Building's recent growth is thanks to its eco-friendly building materials that the company claims cut the carbon emissions associated with construction. The company further credits its growth to its inclusive building designs, like those employed on the Cité Universelle project in Paris (pictured), which aimed to make the structure universally accessible to the handicapped and otherwise. Led by Sebastien Matty, the company has doubled its workforce since 2014.
4. Servisny Tsentr Metalloprokata
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 4 Three-year growth 16,508% 2017 revenue €56.3 million
Service Center Metal is based in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The manufacturer of rolled metals was founded in 1999 and today has more than 3,000 products, ranging from roofing materials to facade surfaces and metal piping of all kinds. Led by Anton Zhdanov, the company had 24 employees in 2017, up from 11 in 2014.
3. Hiperion Hotel Group SL
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 3 Three-year growth 17,223% 2017 revenue €67 million
Based in Madrid, Spain, Hiperion Hotel Group operates a hotel and luxury rental apartment brand called Playasol Hotels. The company's website says it has 36 facilities across the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca. Founded in 2011, Hiperion quickly became a leader in Spanish tourism, capitalizing on these popular vacation destinations. The resorts had more than 500 employees in 2017.
2. Sanderson Contract Management Limited
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 2 Three-year growth 23,306% 2017 revenue €70.3 million
The Bristol, U.K.-based recruitment company, which also does business under the name Resource Solutions Group, specializes in IT, business change, and professional services to businesses across the U.K. and Europe. Led by Keith Dawe, Sanderson has 12 locations in the U.K.
1. UICE Group
Inc. 5000 Europe rank No. 1 Three-year growth 24,845% 2017 revenue €79.3 million
Based in Kiev, the Ukrainian Interbank Currency Exchange became an authorized exchange platform in the early 2000s, according to UICE's website. Today, the exchange trades stocks and derivatives, as well as commodities including oil, gas, and coal. The company, led by Oleksandr Ginzburg, had just 15 employees in 2017.