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Prusa Research wins the 2018 Technology Fast 50 Competition

Average growth rate record is broken for third consecutive year in the Deloitte 2018 Fast 50 in Central Europe

  • The average growth rate of Central Europe’s Fast 50 technology companies sets new record of 1,290 per cent
  • This is the third consecutive year of 1,000+ per cent average growth
  • Companies from ten countries are represented
  • Three Rising Stars from 2017 break into the top ten of the 2018 CE Fast 50 ranking
  • Companies representing the Software solutions sector (32) dominate the ranking
  • Media & Entertainment businesses also feature highly (11)
  • The winner of the inaugural Social Impact award is announced

Yet again, the speed of growth among Central Europe’s most dynamic technology companies continues to accelerate. Average growth between 2014 and 2017 delivered by the companies featuring in the 2018 Deloitte CE Technology Fast 50 ranking hit a new record of 1,290 per cent.

This is the third consecutive year that the average growth rate has broken through the 1,000 per cent mark, once again highlighting the medium-term sustainability of Central Europe’s continuing tech boom.
Where this year’s ranking markedly differs from that of recent years is in the number of companies in the top five who featured in the previous edition. In both 2016 and 2017 all the top five entrants were new to the ranking; in 2018, the two top-placed companies both also featured in last year’s top five. Both Czech businesses, in first place was 3D-printing specialist Prusa Research (up from third last time) and last year’s winner, online flight-booking powerhouse Kiwi.com.

What is most remarkable about these two companies is the immense acceleration in four-year growth rates that they have delivered between the two rankings. While Kiwi.com grew from last year’s exemplary 7,165 per cent to an amazing 14,337 per cent, even this was outdone by Prusa’s leap from 6,910 per cent to the extraordinary result of 17,118 per cent.

It would be unfair to suggest that these figures make the 3,894 per cent growth rate of the third-placed participant – Croatia’s Q Software – look ordinary, as this too is a result that demonstrates the company’s outstanding performance over the last year.

The same goes for fourth-placed Slido, the Slovakian audience-interaction platform for meetings and events (2,971 per cent), and fifth-placed Pilulka, a retail pharmacy business from the Czech Republic.

Special categories
Companies up to three years old are ineligible for the main Fast 50 ranking. The Rising Stars category exists to mark those younger businesses with such strong growth that they are likely to feature in the Fast 50 in years to come.

This year, an astonishing five of the ten Rising Stars were from the Czech Republic, which along with the country’s results at the top of the Fast 50 ranking itself suggests that growth and innovation are flourishing there. The winner, however, is Croatian smart street-furniture business INCLUDE, with a four-year growth rate of 1,950. In second place is Slovakian SEO specialist itrinity (1,555 per cent), with Czech 3D hardware company 3Dsimo placing third (1,461 per cent).

The Big 5 category is for fast-growing larger companies whose scale makes it difficult for them to compete in revenue growth with the smaller businesses in the Fast 50. For the second successive year the winner is Czech online and real-world fashion retailer, ZOOT, with a four-year growth rate of 513 per cent. Second is Poland’s RTB House (415 per cent), a marketing technology and retargeting business. And third is Latvia’s Booking Group (271 per cent), which is disrupting the world of car rental.

The third-ever winner of the Deloitte Most Disruptive Innovation (MDI) award, which highlights those businesses that are pioneering highly disruptive new ideas or technologies, also placed sixth in the main ranking. This year’s winner is Lithuania’s Brolis Semiconductors, a highly innovative company that is using breakthrough infrared photonic technology to develop a new kind of sensor that can take critical blood readings without breaking through the skin.

This year saw the launch of the Social Impact Award, marking companies that contribute most effectively through their products or services to achieving at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs). This reflects our recognition that investors are increasingly making decisions based not only on profits but also on benefits to society and the environment.
The winner of the inaugural award is Poland’s Saule Technologies, which has developed the next generation of solar-panel technology, using a thin, flexible foil that can be wrapped around buildings.

According to Agnieszka Zielińska, Deloitte Partner and Central European Fast 50 Programme Leader - “The primarily young and fearless businesses included in this year’s CE Fast 50 are desperate to change the world for the better. This is incredibly exciting, particularly as you get the sense that the rest of the world is increasingly recognising CE as the place from where so many of the tech breakthroughs of the future are going to come. Just take the winners of the MDI and Social Impact awards. There you have world-class examples, not just of highly educated people with great ideas, but also of people with the desire, business skills and passion that are necessary to commercialise them and so improve the lives of millions of people across the planet.”

For more information about the Deloitte Central Europe Technology Fast 50 programme, visit  www.deloitte.com/fast50ce

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