Google ranked as fastest grower

Search engine company Google has been named the fastest growing company in North America, according to a new ranking by professional services firm Deloitte & Touche.

The newly public Google bumped last year's top company, life sciences firm TheraSense, to Number 2 on the list. Google's revenue jumped from US$220,000 in 1999 to US$961.8 million last year, according to the survey. That adds up to a whopping 437,115 percent increase, Deloitte says.

The survey includes public and private companies that had revenue of at least US$50,000 in 1999 and US$1 million in 2003. The ranking looks at fiscal year revenue growth over that five-year span.

Deloitte has been doing the survey since 1995.

Other highly ranked network companies were STSN, a Salt Lake City-based provider of high-speed Internet access to the hospitality industry that finished at Number 3, and WebMethods, a business integration software maker that placed 59th. Among the biggest network companies on the list was Level 3 Communications, which posted 2003 revenue of US$4 billion. The company ranked Number 294.

Geography-wise, the biggest percentage of companies on the list (34 percent) hail from the western U.S. In fact, Google is based in Mountain View, California.

Among Deloitte's "Rising Star" companies -- those that have been in business less than five years but at least three years -- was Tririga, a privately held workforce management company, and Sourcefire, a privately held security software company.

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