9 Chattanooga businesses make Inc.com list of fastest growing companies

Five local companies made Inc.com's list of the 5

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Nine Chattanooga businesses made the Inc.com 5000 list of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, with two of those landing in the top 500.

In 2015 and 2016, three local companies made the list. Last year, five companies landed the honor.

To be considered for the 2018 list, companies had to have generated revenue by March 31, 2014.

The businesses also had to have made at least $100,000 in revenue in 2014 and generated at least $2 million in 2017. They must also be privately held, for-profit U.S. businesses that are not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies, according to Inc.com.

Major companies, such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza and Pandora gained national exposure as honorees on the list.

The companies on the list achieved collective revenue of more than 206.2 billion in 2017. That’s a 158 percent increase from $79.8 billion in 2014.

Collectively, the companies also scored three-year revenue growth rates that top out at 75,661 percent, according to Inc.com.

“If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it’s unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” Inc. Editor-In-Chief James Ledbetter said in a prepared statement. “The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”

No. 400: Trident Transport 
This third party logistics company generated 11.7 million in 2017. After being founded in 2013 it now has 34 employees, according to Inc.com.

The company aims to provide personal, reliable relationships with its partners and eliminate supply chain problems while offering solutions to customers, Vice President Carter Garrett said via email.

Trident has worked to consistently improve the quality of its work, he also said.

Co-owner Mark Harrell said making the top 500 is a great honor, which couldn’t have been done without the hard work of the company’s employees.

“We started this company to be different,” co-owner Heath Haley said via email. “Our motto, ‘Anytime, anywhere, no matter what’ is not just a phrase we use; we live by it. This is our Trident Transport’s promise to our customers, our employees and to the city of Chattanooga.”

No. 415 Lync America 
Lync America is also a third-party logistics provider, which focuses on top-notch customer service and ongoing improvement.

Founded in 2014, the company has 27 employees and a revenue range of between 10 and 20 million, according to Inc.com.

Investment in people and cutting-edge technology equipment helps the company stand out, according to a news release. 

“We are honored to be included on the Inc. 5000 list and being ranked in the top 500 is a testament to the strategic growth of our company over the past three years,” Lync America President Cynthia Lee said in a prepared statement. “Our success is directly attributed to our employees. We are proud of the team we have assembled and, through their hard work, we are positioned for continued growth and success.”

No. 591 Reliance Partners 
Last year, Reliance Partners made the top 500 and President Chad Eichelberger said it’s a little disappointing not to get that high ranking again, but he’s still pleased with the honor, which he attributed to his employees.

I think it’s a testament to our employees and what they’ve been able to do,” he said. “It means a lot to use from that perspective — that the employees are being recognized for the hard work.”

The company was founded in 2009 and now has a workforce of between 50 and 99 people.

It’s 2017 revenue was $5.2 million, and it’s seen a three-year revenue growth of 848 percent, according to Inc.com.

No. 635 Skuid 
Skuid is a cloud design-and-deploy app assembly platform, which has received other coups in the past.

“Being recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in 2018 is cool, but I’m really stoked about how our customers are transforming their companies with innovative, human-centered enterprise software — built without code on the Skuid platform,” Skuid founder and CEO Ken McElrath said in a prepared statement. “That’s where the awesome lives.”

The company has seen 794 percent three-year growth and made $14.1 million in revenue last year, according to Inc.com.

No. 1412 LMS (Logistics Made Simple)
This is LMS’ first time on the list, which is exciting, sales manager Matt Cotten said.

“I think, as a whole, it just shows the growth and positivity that we’ve had throughout our employees and our customers,” he said. “Our [customer] retention rate is phenomenal.”

The past couple of years have been good for the company, and Cotten expects it to keep getting better.

“I think we’re finally getting to where it’s about to really take off,” he said.

The company has 30 employees, made $26 million in revenue last year and saw a three-year growth of 335 percent, according to Inc.com.

No. 1555: Steam Logistics
This international freight forwarder and customs house broker is on the list for the second year in a row.

The company made $19.5 million in revenue last year, which was up from about $13 million, President Steve Cox said.

Steam was born out of another company that originated in Chattanooga, Access America, which saw rapid growth before its acquisition by Coyote Logistics.

Cox said that Steam is set up to see similar growth.

“If we didn’t make the list, we wouldn’t be very happy,” he said. “We want to be a billion-dollar company. To be on this list is a big deal.”

No. 2553 GreenForm 
Solar, roofing and construction company GreenForm is also on the list for the second time.

It generated $7.7 million in revenue last year and saw a three-year growth of 168 percent, according to Inc.com.

“We’ve definitely grown faster than expected and we still are,” Owner Fred Holder said. “It’s showing that … people are really starting to take hold of the solar industry.”

After making the list last year, the company got a boost and expanded into 18 locations, he also said.

No. 3220 Conversant Group
This company also been on the list twice before.

The IT company made $7.1 million in revenue last year and has seen a three-year growth of 122 percent.

Owner John Smith couldn’t be reached Wednesday.

No. 4642 Very 
Formerly Spartan Systems, software product development firm is also on the list for the second time.

“We’re honored to be recognized for our hard work over the last year,” co-founder and VP of solutions implementation Ben Wald said in a prepared statement. “In the coming months and years, we’ll be working to constantly improve our customer experience so we can continue to be one of the top software development companies in the nation.”

The company generated $4.4 million in revenue last year and saw 68 percent growth over three years, according to Inc.com.