Inc. magazine has named Ellie Mae Inc. one of the nation's fastest growing private companies, ranking number 118 on the 23rd annual Inc. 500 list. Ellie Mae earned a place on the list with its 1,012 percent sales growth over the past four years.
To be eligible for this year's Inc. 500, companies had to be independent and privately held through their fiscal year 2003. Companies are ranked on averaged year-over-year sales growth. Inc. verifies all information using tax forms and audited financial statements from certified public accountants and by conducting interviews with company officials.
The companies that made this list have thrived despite continued stagnation in the economy, posting an average year-over-year sales growth of 265 percent. Inc. 500 companies posted aggregate 2003 revenue of $12.6 billion, and 82 percent of them were profitable. And while the United States shed 410,000 jobs in 2003, Inc. 500 companies provided employment for more than 70,000 people.
Further demonstrating the resilience of this year's Inc. 500 crop is the fact that 102 of this year's honorees, including Ellie Mae, started in 1999, meaning that they weathered the start-up costs of the overcapitalized boom and thrived during the impending bust that was one of the toughest periods for young companies in recent memory.
"The best thing you can say about this year's crop of Inc. 500 entrepreneurs is that they didn't buy into the hype," said Inc. Editor in Chief John Koten. "When people were practically giving away funding in the late 1990s, these companies didn't overextend, and when everyone hit the panic button a few years later, they stayed calm and seized opportunity."
Ellie Mae is joined on the Inc. 500 list by one of the company's major customers, Carteret Mortgage Corporation at number 74.
The Inc. 500 Special Issue will remain on newsstands until Tuesday, Dec. 21.
For more information, visit www.elliemae.com or www.inc.com.