Inc. magazine on Wednesday released its list of the country's 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. This year, 14 Maine companies made the list. However, only one made the elite Inc. 500 and it's at the top of that list -- at No. 6. That's the highest ranking for a Maine company I can remember, but have yet to confirm that by poring over past Inc. 5,000 lists.
Provider Power, a competitive electricity provider based in Auburn, sells electricity to consumers in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In Maine, it's known as Electricity Maine.
The company posted 2013 revenue of $137.9 million, which represents three-year growth of 19,877 percent -- enough for that No. 6 ranking. The company was founded in 2009 and has added 44 jobs in the past three years, according to the Inc. profile of the company. The company is also the No. 1 energy company on the entire Inc. 5,000 list.
"It's a very exciting time for Provider Power and obviously Electricity Maine," Emile Clavet, who co-founded Provider Power with Kevin Dean, told me on Wednesday morning. "We’ve grown to be the largest electricity provider in Maine, we're now the largest in New Hampshire as well, and just started our efforts in Massachusetts. We’re overwhelmed by the response we’ve gotten from Mainers who want to buy their power from a local company."
Provider Power currently has more than 200,000 customers, with most of them being located in Maine, Clavet says. The company began selling electricity in Maine in 2011, entered the New Hampshire market in June 2012 and the Massachusetts market in January.
"We only have a few thousand customers in Massachusetts," Clavet says. "We haven't launched in earnest in Massachusetts and we’ll probably be doing that at end of this year."
Competitive electricity providers like Provider Power act like brokers between consumers and electricity generators. They don't own any power plants or wind farms, or the power lines and distribution network to get the power from here to there.
I asked Clavet if he believes Provider Power will be able to maintain its growth.
"Well there's about 14 or 15 states that have deregulated their electicity, and sometimes natural gas, markets. We’re only in three of those states now and are looking at other states we might want to grow into," he says. "Right now our growth plans are focused on Massachusetts, but we’re very interested in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well."
The other Maine companies on the Inc. 5,000 list, ranked by three-year revenue growth, are:
- No. 600 -- CashStar, the digital gift card company in Portland, with 2013 revenue of $15.8 million and three-year growth of 792 percent.
- No. 798 -- Vets First Choice, the Portland-based online veterinarian services firm, with 2013 revenue of $18.7 million and three-year growth of 573 percent.
- No. 821 -- Argo Marketing Group, the call center company in Lewiston, with 2013 revenue of $10.4 million and three-year growth of 553 percent.
- No. 1060 -- Enterprise Trenchless Technologies, a "directional drilling" contractor in Lisbon Falls, with 2013 revenue of $24.4 million and three-year growth of 419 percent.
- No. 1346 -- The Clean Bedroom, a Kittery based "click and mortar" retailer that sells organic mattresses and sustainably made bedroom furniture, with 2013 revenue of $5 million and three-year growth of 320 percent.
- No. 1790 -- Vision Payment Solutions, a payment processor in Portland, with 2013 revenue of $13.7 million and three-year growth of 231 percent.
- No. 1813 -- Apothecary by Design, a specialty pharmacy in Portland, with 2013 revenue of $32.8 million and three-year growth of 228 percent.
- No. 2014 -- Tilson Technology, a Portland-based IT services and technology management firm, with 2013 revenue of $10.1 million and three-year growth of 201 percent.
- No. 2093 -- KPI Direct, a boutique marketing firm in Portland, with 2013 revenue of $3.4 million and three-year growth of 191 percent.
- No. 3194 -- Winxnet, a Portland-based IT management firm, with 2013 revenue of $10.7 million and three-year growth of 109 percent. (Read my May 2014 profile of the company)
- No. 3771 -- Maine Media Collective, the Portland-based publisher of Maine magazine and Maine Home + Design, with 2013 revenue of $4.4 million and three-year growth of 83 percent.
- No. 3902 -- Professional Disability Associates, a Portland-based consulting firm in the insurance space, with 2013 revenue of $9 million and three-year growth of 79 percent.
- No. 4145 -- Bar Harbor Foods, the specialty seafood producer in Whiting, with 2013 revenue of 47.7 million and three-year growth of 70 percent.
It's worth noting that private companies apply to Inc. in order to be considered. Because some companies don't want to reveal their revenue figures for competitive reasons, the list is not meant to be a comprehensive ranking of all companies in the country.