The Penny Hoarder tops 79 fastest growing Tampa Bay companies on Inc. 5000

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ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder on Wednesday further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

The Penny Hoarder, now seven years old and based in downtown St. Petersburg, recorded $20.5 million in revenues in 2016, representing a three-year growth rate in revenues of 9,396 percent. The company's performance is a marked improvement over its standing on last year's Inc. 5000 list where it ranked 32nd nationally with $7.5 million in revenues and a 3-year growth rate of 6,934 percent.

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On the Inc. 5000 list, the company is listed with 49 employees. Today, the company actually employs 74 and expects to hit the 100 mark by year-end, says Alexis Grant, 36, the executive editor of The Penny Hoarder and the company's third employee with less than three years under her belt.

How does a so called "media" company dispensing financial advice online manage to grow so fast at a time when traditional news sources are struggling? "We think differently about media," Grant says. "We focus on being innovative both in the content we provide and the revenue side of our operations."

As an example, The Penny Hoarder decided not to pepper its web site with distracting display or pop-up ads but instead builds its business on what it calls "performance marketing" in which the company shares some of the financial risk with its advertisers. As an example, says Grant, taxi alternative Uber wants more drivers and uses The Penny Hoarder to get strong leads. In this case, rather than receive a flat fee for an ad, the financial web site might be paid by Uber for results, as in the number of drivers the web site can deliver.

So far, that strategy seems to be working quite well.

The firm also happens to rank No. 7 in the small company category in the 2017 Tampa Bay Times annual review of top workplaces in the area.

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The Penny Hoarder was founded by CEO Kyle Taylor, who began a personal blog in 2010 about making and saving money while "managing massive student loans and debt" in 2010. Readers responded, sparking the launch of ThePennyHoarder.com.

The company was one of 79 Tampa Bay companies ranked on the new Inc. 5000.

Grant says the recognition of being a top ranked firm on a well known fast growth list gives it a big boost when hiring. Adds Grant: "It helps us recruit really great employees."

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