Payments honorees have once again graced the 2016 Inc. 5000 list. Published online in August 2016 by Inc. Media, the 35th annual compilation represents America's fastest growing privately held companies. Westchester, Ill.-based C&H Financial Services Inc., a merchant acquirer, ranked 21st this year. Inc. Media President and Editor in Chief Eric Schurenberg called the list a true measurement of success, noting the award must be earned and cannot be inherited. "No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch," he said. "That's one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails."
The 2016 Inc. 5000 collectively billed $200 billion, generating 640,000 jobs over the last three years, approximately 8 percent of the total U.S. economy during the same period, the company stated. An interactive database with details and company profiles is available at www.inc.com/inc5000.
The talent pool consisted of private, for-profit companies founded no later than March 31, 2012, with U.S. headquarters and standalone operations through Dec. 31, 2015. Some contestants that subsequently went public or were acquired in 2016 by larger firms met the criteria due to their independent status at the end of 2015. Annual minimum revenue requirements climbed from $100,000 in 2012 to $2 million in 2015. Inc. Media stated it reserves the right to exclude applicants for subjective reasons. The top 500 companies will be featured in a special September issue of Inc. magazine.
Payments analysts expect to see even more small to midsize financial institutions, fintech firms and independent software vendors represented in the 2017 Inc. 5000. Continued growth in financial services, fintech and payments categories may warrant additional category designations beyond generic headings currently provided in the interactive database, such as "business products and services," "financial services," "software," and "computer technology."
The financial services category included alternative lenders, cash advance companies, merchant acquirers and an array of business service providers. Congratulations to the following top 500 honorees in the payments realm:
If your payment-related company was in the top 500 this year and isn't on this list, email email@example.com. We'll add you to this article's online version.
Rapid growth can be a double-edged sword, as a company called Fuhu Inc. recently learned. The startup topped the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014, only to implode in 2015. To help others learn from their mistakes, founders Lindsay Blakely and Burt Helm are scheduled to speak at the Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony to be held Oct. 18 to 20 in San Antonio, Texas.
"We twice celebrated with the Fuhu founders; now, in sadness, Blakely and Helm offer a postmortem designed to help you learn from their missteps," Inc. Media wrote, adding that the Inc. 5000 is typically "a milestone on the way to further success."
2016 honorees will be formally recognized at the upcoming conference. The event will feature a mix of workshops, keynote presentations and social functions. Speakers will include best-selling author Tony Robbins, SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, and other leading business strategists.
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