Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year. The companies will be profiled online in the coming days and recognized at a cocktail reception on May 24 at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. Click here for more information on the event.
Quadruple-digit growth is becoming a habit for Kyle Braatz and his team at Fullscript, but don’t ever think the firm that is disrupting the way health-care products are delivered is taking success for granted.
Fullscript, an online system for prescribing and delivering natural health products such as vitamin supplements, has landed in top spot on OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies for the second year in a row.
The company’s latest three-year growth rate clocks in at an eye-popping 3,128.6 per cent – more than double its already impressive mark of 1,245 per cent from 12 months ago.
But the folks at Fullscript are not about to take their feet off the accelerator. Not when they believe so strongly in the company’s mission.
“You know there’s an opportunity to really disrupt and then change the way things are done for the better,” says the 32-year-old Mr. Braatz, who co-founded the firm then known as MD Storefront with business partners Brad Dyment and Chris Wise in 2011.
Mr. Braatz says the multibillion-dollar health-care industry is rapidly moving toward a model that rewards illness prevention rather than treatment, and his company is poised to take full advantage.
Most of its 10,000-plus customers are situated south of the border, where he says health-care organizations are increasingly looking to rein in costs by encouraging patients to engage in healthier lifestyles, including using natural supplements when warranted, in an effort to keep them out of the hospital.
Over the past year, Fullscript has stepped up its efforts to recruit practitioners of what Mr. Braatz calls “integrative medicine” – the 250,000 health-care professionals in North America who not only treat symptoms but put special emphasis on the role of diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and supplements in maintaining a patient’s well-being.
“We already knew we had the best product; we already knew we had the greatest customer support standards out there,” he says. “It was just a matter of adding more practitioners to our model. In doing that, that just accelerated things really quickly.”
His company is now the market leader among that group, he says, and wants to continue growing that segment. In addition, Fullscript is in the process of developing a platform aimed at the much larger group of more traditional health-care practitioners – many of whom, Mr. Braatz says, will recommend natural supplements but don’t make them a core part of their treatment regimens.
The firm has also invested more deeply in the Canadian market, he adds, a move that is now starting to pay dividends.
“We’ve had a lot more success in 2016 in the Canadian market than we’ve had in the past,” Mr. Braatz says. “Revenue growth was very, very strong, and I think we’re going to continue to see that kind of success in Canada as we expand our catalogue and we expand our product offering here.”
Year founded: 2011
Local headcount: About 40
Product / service: Software-as-a-service platform for prescribing natural health products and nutraceuticals
Three-year revenue growth: 3,128.6%
The firm employs about 40 people at its ByWard Market headquarters, a figure its CEO says will likely climb to more than 100 by this time next year if the business continues to grow at the clip he predicts.
Originally backed by a “few million” dollars in angel funding, Fullscript is now profitable. Asked if the founders would ever consider taking the company public down the road, Mr. Braatz says they’ll do “whatever the company needs” to give it the best shot at long-term success.
Whatever route they decide to take, they have no plans to leave the nation’s capital.
“I think the sky’s the limit when it comes to the market that we’re playing in, the problem we’re trying to solve,” he says. “When it comes to building a team and a company here in Ottawa, we’re very happy here.”
2017 Fastest Growing Companies
(Three-year revenue growth in parenthesis)
Bellefleur Physiotherapy (349.9%)
Prosperity Group (281.5%)
Mishkumi Technologies (223.8%)
Honourable mention: FRAMOS Technologies (3,963.6%)