Dozens of Triangle businesses found spots in the latest Inc. Magazine rankings of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country, with one local business cracking the elite Top 10.
The Cary-based alternative wellness company Livingood Daily debuted on the list at No. 6 after posting an astronomical 38,448% revenue increase since it was founded in 2018. Livingood Daily is run by a licensed chiropractor named Blake Livingood who sells supplements, lifestyle programs and books with the promise of weaning customers off prescription medications and traditional healthcare services.
Inc. ranks companies based on their revenue percentage growth in the past three years. To be eligible for this year’s list, companies must have been headquartered in the United States, privately owned, and have made at least $2 million in revenue in 2021.
In total, 134 North Carolina-based companies made the list, which was released last week.
Likely the most prominent North Carolina company on the list is Pendo, a Raleigh-based software startup that helps clients collect data on how customers use their products. Pendo has been a mainstay on the Inc. 5000 list in recent years. In 2019, it ranked among the top 100 fastest-growing companies and came in at No. 1,554 this year after more than quadrupling its revenue since 2018.
Pendo is valued around $2.6 billion and has discussed going public within the next few years.
But no North Carolina private companies have expanded as much, or as fast, as Livingood Daily. The company’s website offers supplements ranging from Vitamin D to oregano oil and monolaurin tablets.
Livingood, who markets himself as Dr. Livingood, has managed to build a national reputation on the back of his two popular health books as well as his social media following. On Instagram (121,000 followers) and TikTok (66,400 followers) he posts a consistent stream of wellness advice.
Why hats sell better than T-shirts
Lesser-known Triangle startups also populate the Inc. rankings.
Custom Patch Hats, which makes custom hats in Raleigh, landed at No. 140. Brian Cox and Scott Alexander formed the company in 2018 and now report annual revenues above $10 million and employ around 75 people.
Cox said hats have been the ideal clothing for rapid growth. Unlike T-shirts, people can wear their favorite hat every day. And when companies look to purchase large quantities of customized gear, a hat offers convenient, universal sizing whereas large T-shirt orders require estimating the correct number of various sizes. The company’s largest order thus far was around 10,000 hats for the Salt Lake City government.
Alexander said Custom Path Hats’ owes part of its 3,390% rise in revenue to its culture.
“Ultimately, what we did was swing and connect,” he said. “We had some pretty smart marketing to begin with, but it’s really about investing in our people. We show up to the same office as everybody else, every single day, and we want to make sure that place is a cool, fair, equitable place to work.”
Returning to the list for the fifth straight year is Greasecycle, a Raleigh company that pumps cooking oils out of restaurants, processes it and sells the recycled oil. One of its clients is Chevron. Greasecycle employs around 50 people and grew by more than 400% in the past three years.
“We’re really good at removing headaches from our customers,” said Dylan Gehrken, Greasecycle president and founder.
The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in the Triangle
These companies from the Inc. 5,000 list are located in the Triangle. Here’s where they rank.
6. Livingood Daily – Health Products – Cary
110. Industrial Automation Co. – Computer Hardware – Raleigh
140. Custom Patch Hats – Consumer Products – Raleigh
178. ACHUTI – Construction – Raleigh
214. Connecting The Dots – Marketing – Morrisville
375. Givebacks – Software – Raleigh
418. Sitation – Business Products and Services – Apex
436. DASH Carolina – Real Estate – Raleigh
518. CustomerHD – Telecommunications – Raleigh
849. PayBright – Financial Services – Raleigh
This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.
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