Fastest-Growing Tech Firms Call Internet Home

According to Deloitte & Touche’s Technology Fast 500 report, the fastest-growing U.S. technology companies were all in the Internet and computer industries, with software developer Siebel Systems, Inc. leading the pack with a five-year growth of 782,978 percent.

Siebel Systems booked revenues of $50,000 (US$) in 1994, growing to $391,539,000 in sales for 1998. Excite, Inc. (now Excite@Home) ranked second, with a five-year increase of 187,081 percent.

Excite, Inc. revenues grew from $83,000 in 1994 to $155,360,000 in 1998.

Coming in third was EarthLink Network, Inc., which put $111,000 on the 1994 books and then hit $175,941,000 in 1998 for a growth rate of 158,405 percent.

Rounding out the top four was Netscape Communications, Inc., which saw a 64,240 percent five-year growth, moving from $696,000 in 1994 to $447,809,000 in 1998.

Old Enough To Compete

Since Deloitte & Touche’s Fast 500 measures growth over a five-year period, most Internet — and especially e-commerce — companies still do not qualify for percent-growth ratings. In fact, last year, Internet companies only constituted five percent of the list.

This year, however, Net firms grabbed nine percent of the total, making the Internet the second largest single industry group.

The leading group was software/computers/peripherals, which dominated the list with 50 percent, down from last year’s 57 percent. Other industries on the list included communications and semiconductors/components/electronics.

Even with its small percentage contending, Internet companies still captured three of the top four slots, suggesting that the list may be dominated by Internet companies in coming years. Last year, the top Net firm, SPYRUS, ranked at only number 51.

The rate of five-year growth for this year’s winners was 69 percent faster than the 1998 tech companies on the list. The 500 winners showed combined revenues of $75.9 billion, and the growth rates ranged from 535 percent for number 500 to 782,978 percent for Siebel Systems.

Qualifying Criteria for the Fast 500

The Fast 500 list is compiled from the winners of Deloitte & Touche’s 19 regional U.S. Fast 50 programs, nominations submitted directly to the Fast 500, and public company database research.

Entrants can be public or private, but must be headquartered in the U.S. and must be a technology company, defined by a range of particulars including manufacturing, tech use, or research.

Deloitte & Touche is a professional services firm that provides assurance and advisory, tax, and management consulting.

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