Five Cambridge companies in inaugural Growth Index study


Five Cambridge companies have made it to the inaugural Growth Index, a ranking of the fastest growing companies in the UK based on a rigorous financial analysis of the compound annual growth of 32,000 companies.

Darktrace, Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP), Cycle Pharmaceuticals, Speechmatics and Featurespace are among the top 100 list which reveals the sectors that have flourished throughout the pandemic, with arts and media emerging as the fastest-growing sector, closely followed by fintech and health.

The Growth Index has been established as “an opportunity for the CEOs and founders of those companies to tell their stories and share their lessons of growth” by Harrogate-based executive search and growth architect ORESA.

Taking a two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue using accounting periods up to the end of 2021, the ranking offers “a definitive overview of how the pandemic impacted UK company growth”. The overview spotlights high-growth sectors and “analyses the positive impact of purpose, leadership, creativity and strategy behind their success”.

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, helping communities and individuals to regain their economic independence by creating rewarding jobs for the long term.

“We call this good growth.”

Of the Cambridge companies, cyber security AI firm Darktrace was named one of TIME’s ‘Most Influential Companies’ for 2021.

Speechmatics’ HPC and AI Supercomputer will be hosted by Kao Data: the supercomputer will work in tandem with its hyperscale cloud deployments, providing a pioneering example of fluent, hybrid high performance computing in-action.

Cycle Pharmaceuticals is a global, privately-owned and patient-dedicated biotechnology company focused on rare disease, headquartered at the Broers Building on JJ Thomson Avenue.

Cambridge Design Partnership is an end-to-end innovation and engineering design partner, based in Toft, while Featurespace, which received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade in 2021, is taking financial crime monitoring to new levels with its ARIC Risk Hub.

Tech was the strongest sector overall, with a third of companies on the list. The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector is “another important high-growth sector”, the authors of the GX report note. The south east, and east of England, contain 67 per cent of the health and pharma companies in the index.

“This is in part corresponding to the presence of Oxford and Cambridge Universities,” say GX’s authors. “Cambridge emerged as a relative hotspot with five companies located in the city – a result of successful spin-outs from Cambridge University.”

Andrew Higginson, chair of the Growth Index Advisory Board and former chairman of Morrison, said: “As the recently appointed advisory chairman of Growth Index, it is my pleasure and privilege to promote the successful leaders of this year’s winning cohort equally, alongside all those others striving to make this economy the world’s most growth-friendly.”

Only in parts, though, cn the UK be considered growth-friendly: of the UK’s 100 most dynamic, rapidly expanding firms, 47 are based in London, with a further 22 in the South East and East of England, between them representing 81 per cent of total sales.

Published: 01.06.22

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