finance

Iowa businesses claim spots on list of fastest-growing companies

Written by IhebQld

This year, 27 Iowa companies were recognized on the Inc. 5000, a ranking system released annually highlighting the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

The list, featuring 5,000 businesses, is curated based on the percentage of revenue growth over a three-year period. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue since 2018. They’re also required to be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit and independent (not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies). 

The ranking first started as “Inc. 500” in 1982 but expanded in 2007 to give “readers a deeper, richer understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape and capturing a broader spectrum of success,” according to the Inc. 5000. 

This year, Iowa companies that made the list brought in nearly $887 million, added more than 10,800 jobs and saw a 192% median growth, according to the Inc. 5000. Eight of the companies were “repeat honorees.”

Ready Wireless, an IT services company based in Cedar Rapids, ranked at 282, making it Iowa’s fastest-growing company in 2022.

A dozen of the list’s companies, which feature businesses in the financial, software and constriction industries, are based in the Des Moines area this year. Others, such as Humach — a customer-service company offering call-center outsourcing — and Dutch Country Living — a rural general store — are located in Dubuque and Bloomfield, respectively.

Several of the companies also claimed spots on the Inc. 5000’s Regionals 2022: Midwest list, which features 144 “economic all-star” businesses from 14 Midwest states. 

Here are the 12 Des Moines-area businesses that made the rankings in 2022:

LenderClose 

Rank: 564

Growth: 1,117%

Industry: Financial services 

City: West Des Moines

LenderClose, founded by Omar Jordan in 2015, is a financial technology company that allows users to navigate through real estate and home equity loan transactions using an app. This is the company’s first appearance on the Inc. 5000.

Zenith Design + Build

Rank: 857

Growth: 740%

Industry: Construction

City: Clive

Founded in 2018 by Nicholas Donlin, Zenith Design + Build is a Clive-based residential remodeling contracting company. The company provides services from “full kitchen remodels to exterior transformations,” according to the company’s website. This is the company’s first appearance on the Inc. 5000.

VizyPay

Rank: 918

Growth: 695%

Industry: Financial services 

City: Waukee

This is the second year VizyPay makes the Inc. 5000 list, ranking No. 45 in 2021. This year, VizyPay, a payment processing firm for small-to-medium-sized business owners, ranked 26 in the Inc. 5000’s Regionals Midwest list. The Waukee-based firm was founded in 2017 by Austin Mac Nab and has accounts in several states including Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

TwoTone Creative

Rank: 962

Growth: 673%

Industry: Advertising and marketing

City: West Des Moines

TwoTone Creative started out by designing Christmas cards for clients in 2014, according to the company’s website. Today, the creative firm works with clients to help them with marketing, graphic design, websites, copywriting, branding and social media. The West Des Moines-based agency, led by Jenny Cross, also ranked 25 on the Inc. 5000’s Regionals Midwest this year. 

Pet Parents 

Rank: 1,860

Growth: 328%

Industry: Consumer products

City: Ankeny

Ankeny-based company Pet Parents.

This isn’t Pet Parents‘ first time in the Inc. 500 spotlight. The pet products and services company landed at 378 in 2020 and at 1,001 in 2021. It also claimed Regionals: Midwest spots 53 and 57 for 2021 and this year, respectively. Inspired by his childhood dog, Blake Anderson founded Pet Parents in 2016. The company sells pet diapers, blankets, pads and other accessories. 

Lashier Graphics & Signs

Rank: 2,688

Growth: 210%

Industry: Advertising and marketing

City: Grimes

Founded in 2016, Lashier Graphics & Signs is a graphic display and custom signage company based in Grimes. Bob Lashier, who serves as president and co-owner, said on the company’s website: “Our whole purpose for being here is really to help bring people’s big ideas to life, to get massive exposure for your brands so that your customers get the … idea of what you’re trying to promote.” This is the company’s first appearance on the Inc. 5000.

Itasca Retail

Rank: 3,013

Growth: 179%

Industry: Software

City: West Des Moines

Itasca Retail provides software-based inventory management solutions to supermarkets and other retailers, allowing them to become more efficient, according to the company’s website. Itasca was founded in 1998 and is led by Jeffrey Kennedy. Its clients include Kroger, PriceChopper and Wegmans. This is the third consecutive year, and the fourth time overall, Itasca makes the Inc. 5000 list

Schaal Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

Rank: 3,065

Growth: 176%

Industry: Construction

City: Johnston

Joe Anderson and Jared Linderman adjust HVAC and furnace electrical components during a regular training session at Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling.

Schaal Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is no stranger to the Inc. 5000 list, ranked every year since 2017. The residential service and replacement company specializes in plumbing, heating, cooling, indoor air quality, water heaters and commercial HVAC, according to the Inc. 5000. The company, owned by Randy Keys, serves customers in Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, according to the company’s website

Peoples Company

Rank: 3,912

Growth: 126%

Industry: Agriculture & Natural Resources

City: Clive

Peoples Company, a Clive farmland brokerage, appraisal and management business.

The Peoples Company is a farmland transaction, asset valuation and land management firm that brokers large land deals around the U.S., according to the Inc. 5000. Based in Clive, the company was founded in 1972 and is led by Steve Bruere. This is the fourth time the company has made the Inc. 5000 rankings. It landed at 4,335 in 2017; 3,836 in 2019; and 4,163 in 2021. 

Express Logistics

Rank: 4,696

Growth: 91%

Industry: Logistics and transportation

City: Urbandale

Express Logistics employees volunteer at Meals From the Heartland

Express Logistics is a third-party logistics provider that specializes in transportation, less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload and intermodal freight services. Chad and Emily Rubner founded the company in 2003. The Urbandale-based business, with a second office in Kansas City, Missouri, has made the Inc. 5000 list five times: in 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Last year, it ranked 3,377.

Dwolla 

Rank: 4,813

Growth: 86%

Industry: Financial services

City: Des Moines

Dwolla CEO Ben Milne. Des Moines-based mobile payment company Dwolla has found success charging 25 cents for every transaction over $10 it processes.

Founded in 2008 as a “digital wallet solution,” Dwolla has evolved into a finance technology company that helps businesses program payments simply and securely, allowing the company to embed digital payment capabilities on its platform, according to the company’s website. Dwolla, co-founded by Ben Milne, is headed by CEO Brady Harris and appeared on the Inc. 5000 at 2,990 in 2021. 

JT Logistics

Rank: 4,926

Growth: 82%

Industry: Logistics & Transportation

City: Des Moines

JT Logistics was ranked 3,876 on the Inc. 5000’s 2021 list. Founded by Jamie Cord in 2014, the third-party transportation and supply chain company provides storage and transportation with nearly 3 million square feet of warehouse space across 16 U.S. locations, according to the Inc. 5000.

Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter Trent Abrego contributed to this story. 

Virginia Barreda is a trending and general assignment reporter for the Des Moines Register. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @vbarreda2

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