A Portland-based startup that flies under the radar of the local entrepreneurial scene has landed on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States.
Sound Rink, which sells VIP ticket packages to uber fans of touring musicians, placed #232 on the 2016 list. It’s the only Maine company to make it on the list this year.
The business magazine has yet to post its list online or deliver the magazine to local retailers, but Maine Startups Insider got an early peak at the September issue of the magazine, which features the list.
Inc.’s rankings are based on three-year revenue growth. Sound Rink posted 2015 revenue of $3.3 million, representing a 1,714% increase from 2013’s revenue.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” CEO Cody DeLong tells Maine Startups Insider. “I’ve always looked at the list, but never thought I’d be on it.”
I first wrote about 27-year-old DeLong and Sound Rink in a June 2014 profile for the Portland Press Herald. At the time, DeLong said the company was on track that year to reach $2 million in revenue. It, in fact, posted $2.2 million that year, and $3.3 million the next. DeLong wouldn’t offer specifics, but said the company hasn’t stopped growing and is on track to beat last year’s revenue figure.
DeLong, who worked as a booking agent for musicians, including local artist Spose, founded Sound Rink as a side project in 2012 along with Scott Lee and Jason Mageau. The company works with concert promoters and band managers to bundle concert tickets with meet-and-greet opportunities with musicians and merchandise into VIP packages it then sells to superfans. The company has recently worked with musicians such as CeeLo Green and the Art of Rap tour, which includes Public Enemy and Ice-T.
Sound Rink currently has seven employees, three of which are based in Portland.
To be clear, the Inc. 500 list is not the definitive list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. It’s the list of the fastest growing companies that were willing to pay a fee and reveal their revenue figures to Inc. for consideration.
Still, it’s viewed by many, rightly so, as a milestone to make the list.
For DeLong, it provides himself, his co-founders and employees with a sense of accomplishment and confirmation that the last several years of hard work have paid off. It will also serve as an important marketing tool to prospective clients, DeLong said.
“Especially in this industry it’ll help us prove we’re not one of the little guys,” DeLong said.
Sound Rink is not the first Maine company to make the Inc. 500 list. None made the list last year, but several have made the list in previous years: Provider Power (#32 in 2013, #6 in 2014), Vets First Choice (#30 in 2012, #24 in 2013), and CashStar (#103 in 2013).
Inc. also releases a larger list online that contains the 5,000 fastest growing U.S. companies. There will surely be additional Maine companies on that list when it’s released. In 2015, Maine had nine companies on the Inc. 5,000, and 14 companies the year before (though Inc.’s website now only lists 13 for that year).