It was raining awards for the city and province of Groningen, during the ceremony of the annual Gazellen Awards for the fastest growing companies in the Northern Netherlands. A total of 40 awards were handed out yesterday, of which a whopping 19 of them going to companies hailing from Groningen. Brandfield, VoIPGRID and Moving Spirits took home the gold.
Every year, Het Financieele Dagblad, one of the leading Dutch financial newspapers, rewards the fastest growing companies per region with a Gazelle Award. Businesses with a revenue growth of at least 20% will take home this prestigious award. For the first time, gold, silver and bronze Gazellen were handed out in three different categories: small, medium sized and large. The awards ceremony for the Northern region was held yesterday, at the water research center Wetsus in Leeuwarden.
Groningen takes home the gold
A total of 40 companies from three provinces were rewarded for their fast growth, 19 coming from Groningen, 15 from Friesland and 6 from Drenthe. The leading financial daily newspaper praised the city of Groningen for its fantastic results, headlining yesterday: “The city of Groningen is the growth engine of the Northern provinces. In all three categories, the Golden Gazelles went to companies based in the ‘metropolis of the North’.”
VoIPGRID, the telecommunications platform of owner Mark Vletter (who also founded business successes Voys and Spindle), received the Golden Gazelle in the first category (€ 100.000 to € 2 mln). The company had a whopping revenue growth of 1673% over the past three years. VoIPGRID was also ranked 9th this year in the Deloitte Technology Fast50, the ranking for the 50 fastest growing tech companies in the Netherlands.
In the medium sized category (€ 2 mln to € 10 mln), online fashion retailer Brandfield took home the gold, with an average growth percentage of 310%. Just like VoIPGRID, the made it to the Fast50 list this year too, ranked 16th. The online store sells about 20,000 fashion items a year, with products like watches, sunglasses, jewelry and wallets.
The Golden Gazelle Award in the third category (more than € 10 mln) went to global alcoholic beverage retailer Moving Spirits. The company from Groningen was also the big winner in the same category last year, and this year, the retailer took home the gold again, with an average growth in revenue of 112%.
Photo credits: Sander Nieuwenhuys