Grow Finance and GetFish topped AFR 2021 Quick Lists

Participants in both categories are required to provide three full years of income data and are ranked based on the compound annual growth rate achieved during that time period.

This means that half of the growth rates on this year’s Quick List were subject to the pandemic, and companies in the hospitality or travel sectors are conspicuous by their absence.

Those that prospered were either in one of the lucky sectors boosted by lockdowns, like e-commerce, or they were well diversified, as was the case with Fast 100 topper Grow Finance.

” turn the lights off “.

A big jump in Grow’s profit forecast – from a pre-tax loss of $ 4.4 million in 2020-2021 to a pre-tax profit of $ 14.4 million in 2021-2022 – were cited as the One of the reasons fund managers couldn’t understand the lender’s attempted listing on the ASX in June.

However, Woszczalski was confident that Grow would continue to live up to its name, pointing out that most of its 9,000 customers currently only use one of its seven products, but may need all of them as business terms continue to deteriorate. improve after blockages.

“In 2020, no one knew what was going to happen next, but this year our customers understood that blockages were only a moment in time, and they wanted to be supplied and ready to end,” a- he declared.

After the period of uncertainty we just went through, Woszczalski said business owners are drawn to non-bank lenders whose only recourse is the loaned assets, not the owner’s house, as it might be. with bank financing.

Hannah Spilva and Verity Tuck have relied on their well-developed supply chain to overcome the shortage of imported flowers to Australia during the pandemic. Photo: Tash Sorensen

A combination of people staying at home and wanting to try more environmentally friendly plant-based foods, placed manufacturer and e-trader Deliciou fifth on the Fast 100 with $ 12.6 million in 2020 revenue. -2021 representing a growth of 193% since 2018-19.

Deliciou was founded in 2015 in the Melbourne kitchen of Kjetil Hansen, a bacon lover who wanted to reduce bacon.

For eight months, he blended spices, herbs and vegetable powders to perfect a bacon substitute seasoning. and mold as desired.

Now backed by Ruslan Kogan and Aconex founders Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, Hansen says the only potential handbrake on Deliciou and the clean consumption trend is government policy.

“Australia exports so much wheat, so it’s crazy that we have to import our wheat powders. More should be done to encourage a plant-based food industry here, ”he says.

The founder of GetFish, Antonio Muollo.

GetFish founder Antonio Muollo is the top 2021 AFR Fast Starters list. Photo: Yianni Aspradakis

Hansen also fears lobbying efforts by “desperate” traditional meat associations to prevent it from using terms like “chicken” and “beef” on its packaging.

“If they are successful, it will create a lot of confusion for the growing number of consumers who want to try plant-based meat substitutes,” he says.

It was the lack of dependence on imports that enabled online florist and gift brand LVLY to reach eighth place in the Fast 100 ranking, with a turnover of 13.8 million. dollars in 20201-21 representing growth of 170% since 2018-9.

AFR 2021 Fast Lists are presented by Pemba Capital Partners and KPMG.

Founded in 2014 in Sydney by British expats Hannah Spilva and Verity Tuck, LVLY has felt the pandemic uplift shared by most e-commerce entrepreneurs, with the added benefit that they were already sourcing flowers from Australia, before the pandemic forces their competitors to do the same.

“Many consumers don’t realize that about 50 percent of the flowers bought and sold in Australia are imported from overseas,” Spilva explains.

“So when the borders closed and imports dried up, our competitors couldn’t adapt to meet demand where we could because we had the existing relationships in the chain. supply. “

LVLY’s control over its supply chain extends to employing its own flower arrangers and drivers, unlike many online flower delivery companies that Spilva describes as “order pickers”. This check allowed LVLY to make an improvement in its service that Spilva says has spurred growth during the pandemic – the ability to order until 5 p.m. and still have flowers delivered on the same day.

“We get a lot of desperate calls from guys on Valentine’s Day afternoons who are very happy to hear this,” she says.

The pandemic has prompted confined consumers to try home delivery of products they’ve never had before, and GetFish founder Antonio Muollo can attest that seafood was one of them.

Coming from a multigenerational family of sailors, Muollo’s parents, 22, own the De Costi outlet in Sydney Fish Markets, and he gets his supplies there.

The four-year-old company was previously 80 percent foodservice supplies and 20 percent direct-to-consumer sales. The latter has risen to nearly 100% in the depths of the lockdown and, since mid-October, has moderated to around 50%, according to Muollo.

“A lot of what we did during the pandemic was education – proving to people that we’re not like their suburban fishmonger, that our turnover is really high, and that our product will arrive on their doorstep very. fresh, ”he says.

Starting with a van that Muollo drove himself, GetFish now has 25 on the road and has recently expanded delivery to the NSW central coast and Wollongong. Muollo plans to use his contacts in the fishing industry and his hard-earned logistics experience to expand interstate, but he must first focus on fulfilling the orders he already has.

“It has been very difficult to find good drivers and packers since all the international students have returned home,” he says.

For the Fast 100 and Fast Starters, participants that are not publicly traded must provide a third-party audit of the earnings of an accountant or external auditor.

All entrants must have more than one primary customer, and the majority of their income must not come from government grants or other seed funding.

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