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26 May, 2022 - 20:04 By Tony Quested

Cambridge quartet make new Growth Index

Fourteen companies from the East of England, including Cambridge technology influencers Darktrace, Featurespace, Speechmatics and Cambridge Design Partnership, have made Growth Index – a newly-released list of the 100 UK’s fastest-growing companies.

The inaugural ranking reveals the sectors that have flourished throughout the pandemic with arts & media emerging as the fastest-growing sector, closely followed by fintech and health.  

Established to celebrate the companies and leaders that drive exceptional growth, Growth Index is an independent list which shines a spotlight on the most successful sectors and companies in the UK and analyses the positive impact of purpose, leadership, creativity and strategy behind their success. 

Taking a two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue using accounting periods up to the end of 2021, the initiative is designed to offer a definitive overview of how the pandemic impacted UK company growth. 

Companies from the East of England that made it onto the list include:-

  • Bold Security Group, an innovative, customer-centric security company, based in Essex, who rank 10th, with a CAGR of 189.18 per cent
  • Purple Surgical, a surgical equipment manufacturer for global healthcare providers, based in Shenley, who rank 12th, with a CAGR of 127.11 per cent
  • Glencar Construction, a construction contractor for logistics, industrial and distribution facilities, based in St Albans, who rank 19th, with a CAGR of 119.98 per cent.

An outlier, The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre tops the list with a compound annual growth rate of 442 per cent following an impressive pivot during the pandemic.  

Innovative insurance provider Zego comes in second, followed by health-tech company Babylon Health and British Arts success story, See-Saw Films, the production company behind Oscar winning The Power of the Dog.

Companies doubling down on the metaverse are already showcasing rapid growth with VR startup Improbable taking fifth place.

The other East of England success stories are:-

  • GV Health, a manufacturer of environmental, hygiene, safety and waste management products, based in Stevenage
  • Darktrace, a cyber security AI firm, named one of TIME’s ‘Most Influential Companies’ for 2021, based in Cambridge  
  • Cambridge Design Partnership, an end-to-end innovation and engineering design partner, based in Cambridge  
  • EUSA Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specialising in rare diseases and oncology, based in Hemel Hempstead
  • CareTech, a person-centred care for children and adults with complex needs company, based in Potters Bar  
  • Cycle Pharma, a biotech company developing drugs for rare genetic diseases company, based in Cambridge  
  • Maze, a premium outdoor furniture retailer, based in Suffolk
  • Silixa, a firm providing fibre optic-powered data solutions for energy, resource and infrastructure sectors, based in Elstree  
  • Lintbells, a global pet healthcare and supplements company, based in Weston
  • Speechmatics, global experts in deep learning and voice technology, based in Cambridge
  • Featurespace, a company providing adaptive behavioural analytics for fraud prevention and AML transaction monitoring, based in Cambridge.

​Technology was the strongest sector overall, comprising a third of the companies on the list. This included significant representation from FinTech and cybersecurity firms such as LSE-listed Darktrace. 

Health was the third largest sector by company numbers, with four companies stating a tangible link to Covid-19 – including Purple Surgical and GV Health (PPE contracts) and drugs manufacturer EUSA. 

Despite a shift towards e-commerce and having the second largest presence in the ranking, retail lagged behind other sectors in terms of growth.  
Notably missing are companies from the hospitality, leisure and travel industries, some of the hardest-hit throughout the pandemic thanks to lockdown measures.  

Orlando Martins, founder of Growth Index and ORESA, the executive search practice said: “Growth is more effective than any other economic force at improving lives. The Growth Index (GX) celebrates the people and companies making it happen, particularly after two exceptionally challenging years.  

“Alongside the pandemic, technological and geopolitical shifts have shown that we need to adapt our ways of thinking about, being in and doing business. This isn’t simply about achieving higher levels of turnover. It’s also, and equally, about being profitable, ethical, sustainable and socially conscious in the way we do business. 

“At the heart of GX’s existence is applauding those companies achieving and encouraging growth in every corner of the UK, including those in the East of England, helping communities and individuals to regain their economic independence by creating rewarding jobs for the long term. We call this good growth.” 

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