Trada Takes Inc.’s Top Spot for Fastest Growing Colorado Companies

Colorado companies did well on this year’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies, with 134 making the list. Dozens of tech companies from Boulder, Denver, and the surrounding areas made this year’s list, with the top spot for Colorado companies going to Boulder’s own Trada.

Colorado held its own when compared to other states, coming in with the 13th most companies making the list.

Trada finished No. 27 on the overall list and was the fifth-fastest-growing company in the advertising and marketing category. The venture-backed company has developed a crowdsourced marketplace for advertising services. In a nutshell, Trada connects experts in creating paid search advertising with companies looking to create or improve their online marketing campaigns. Trada sells itself as a way for small- and medium-sized businesses to access top advertising talent at reasonable prices by bypassing advertising agencies.

Trada took in $12.6 million in revenue in 2012, an 81x increase over the past three years, which is the period the Inc. rankings are based on. Trada has raised almost $17 million in venture capital, with its last equity round closing in December 2011. Google Ventures and Foundry Group, a VC firm based in Boulder, are investors. Trada has 75 employees.

Niel Robertson founded the company in 2008 and is its CEO. (He’s also an Xconomist.) Robertson was part of the team that launched Service Metrics in the late 1990s and was its chief technology officer. Service Metrics was one of the top exits in Colorado history: Exodus Communications purchased Service Metrics in 1999 for $280 million in stock. The value of Exodus shares increased fourfold by the time the six-month lockup period ended.

Inc. bases its list on revenue growth, which naturally favors startups that were founded within the past few years and have rolled out new products. That’s partly why the percent revenue growth for startups at the top of the list is in the thousands. To qualify, companies had to have at least $2 million revenue in 2012.

Four other Colorado companies cracked the top 100. Loveland-based digital advertising firm Madwire Media ranked 51st on the overall list, with three-year revenue growth of 5,254 percent. The company reported 2012 revenue of $6.9 million. Madwire employs 94 people and was founded in 2009.

Eventus, a managed cloud services provider in Englewood, ranked 52nd, with a 5,221 percent revenue increase. The four-year-old company’s 2012 revenue was $6.4 million, and it has 22 employees.

Altitude Digital, a Denver-based online advertising and marketing firm, ranked 54th, with revenues growing 5,126 percent to $11.4 million. Altitude Digital employs 21 people and was founded in 2008.

Coming in at No. 54 was another Boulder-based startup, Doc Popcorn, which sells gourmet natural popcorn at kiosks around the country. It reported revenue of $7.2 million, up 5,011 percent, which was good enough to give it the third spot in the retail rankings.

Among the other Colorado companies to make the top 500 are Populous, a Boulder-based consulting firm specializing in residential energy efficiency and demand-side energy management. It ranked 139th and took in $3 million last year, a 2,685 percent increase.

Recondo Technology, a health IT company located in Greenwood Village, ranked 179th, taking in $30.4 million in 2012, which was a 2,261 percent increase.

Quick Left, a mobile-app design firm based in downtown Boulder, ranked 223rd overall and ninth in Colorado, with revenue growth of 1,917 percent and 2012 revenue of $2.8 million.

Farther down the list are TrackVia, Four Winds Interactive, Confio Software, DataVail, and Rally Software Development (NYSE: RALY), which went public in April. Check out Inc.’s rankings here for a full list of Colorado companies.

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