An impressive four NPM Capital portfolio companies are listed in the annual ranking of the 250 fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands, published by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rotterdam School of Management. Picnic is ranked first, making it the fastest-growing company in the Netherlands. The online grocery retailer created 1,697 new jobs (in FTEs) and managed to achieve average growth of 162% during the sample period from year-end 2015 to year-end 2018.
The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rotterdam School of Management have been monitoring around 3,000 rapidly growing companies in the Netherlands since 2014. They draw on a variety of data sources, their own research, and various existing databases. They annually present the results of the survey in the Scale-up Dashboard, which is published in conjunction with nlgroeit. The survey is directed by lecturer Justin Jansen, Scientific Director of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rotterdam School of Management.
The Top 250 Scale-up Dashboard is different from other rankings in that it focuses on growth in the number of employees and revenue rather than being concerned with revenue alone. According to Jansen, it is the only ranking of its kind that uses economies of scale as a point of departure. The only companies eligible for the list are those with a minimum of 10 FTEs and/or a minimum of €5 million in revenue at the start of the sample period and which achieve average growth of at least 20% in FTE and/or revenue in the three subsequent years. Jansen: “The list of the 250 fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands shows not only which companies create the most jobs, but also which ones are highly productive.”
Growth in Germany
The list of the TOP 250 Growth Companies includes three other NPM Capital portfolio companies: Conclusion Services, Ploeger Oxbo and Ultimaker. Amersfoort-based Picnic is the youngest portfolio company to be ranked among the 250, having been launched in September 2015 in Amersfoort. In fact, most of the fastest-growing companies are relatively young: 8% of the companies on the list were established less than 5 years ago, 36% less than 10 years ago and 27% less than 15 years ago.
Picnic is expected to continue its current growth trajectory (or grow even faster) over the next several years: its business model, based on a data-driven approach and an app-only store, would appear to show potential outside the Netherlands as well, the company’s co-founder Michel Muller recently told business website De Ondernemer. Muller: “There are still several provinces where we haven’t launched yet: Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel. That is to say, we’re underrepresented in those areas. In Germany, we currently maintain a presence in 10 cities, working out of four hubs, and we intend to massively expand there. North-Rhine Westphalia is roughly the size of the Netherlands in terms of area and population, and we’re looking to expand there as well this year. We’ve seen that the fastest hub in Mönchengladbach is growing faster than its Dutch counterpart (…) There’s a huge market for us out there.”