Fast 50: 6 Through 20

Critical Path, etc.

6. Critical Path
Outsource communications services

Critical path soared in 2000, outsourcing communications services for enterprises. But senior managers left after financial results were restated because of accounting irregularities, and demand for high-tech services has slowed. The company hopes to revive momentum this year, boosting its profits by laying off 43 percent of its work force.

7. Raindance Communications
Web conferencing, Webcasting

To become cash-flow positive, Raindance Communications cut about 35 percent of its staff in January. The plan seems to be working. In April, the company — which changed its name from Evoke Communications in May — said that it beat analysts fourth-quarter estimates. The agenda, CEO Paul Berberian said, is "to offer reliable and inexpensive phone and Web conferencing services."

8. Interwoven
Web content management software

Being in the right market at the right time is the best way to succeed. And Interwoven is in one of the hottest markets: The companys biggest competitor, Vignette, also saw triple-digit revenue growth. Interwoven almost quadrupled its customer base, and signed key reseller agreements with Accenture and IBM Global Services, among others.

9. Ariba
E-procurement software

The year 2000 was sunny for Ariba, when it became the first business-to-business company to report an operating profit. Sales of software for e-procurement and public marketplaces grew all year long, but Ariba exited the public marketplace business when the B2B sector slumped early this year. Today, Ariba must extend beyond procurement to boost its revenue, analysts say.

10. Sycamore Networks
Optical networking products

Product sales propelled Sycamore Networks growth to triple digits, as the company announced a 3-for-1 stock split and a public offering of 15 million shares. The company launched the SN 10000, the industrys highest-capacity transport system for long-haul networks, and acquired optical supplier Sirocco Systems.

11. E.Piphany
CRM software

In 2000, E.Piphany acquired four rival customer relationship management software makers, released its successful E.5 suite and added more than 250 customers, including four big automobile firms. The company also expanded its international market position to Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

12. Blue Martini Software
CRM and business partner software

Blue Martini Softwares 2000 revenue was up 561 percent as it added products and customers such as Canadian Tire, Harley-Davidson and Saks Fifth Avenue. Despite a 92 percent revenue gain to $20.5 million in the first quarter of 2001, the company trimmed its work force 12 percent.

13. Juniper Networks
Routers and optical equipment

Cisco Systems thought that it had a lock on terabit routers — until Juniper Networks made off with 30 percent of the market by the end of 2000. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company then scored a victory early this year in a ballyhooed bake-off. The backbone router market is expected to soar to $13.6 billion by 2004, but Juniper recently warned of a sales slowdown later this year.

14. Riverstone Networks
Multiservice metro access devices

Carriers told Riverstone Networks they needed equipment to deliver premium services to end users. In response, the company came up with a box with more ports and a smaller footprint than anything on the market. When others fled the IPO market this winter, Riverstone sold shares. Its stock price is up almost 90 percent from opening day.

15. VerticalNet
B2B e-commerce software

VerticalNet is undergoing a dramatic transformation. In addition to luring Joe Galli away from only to see him walk out a few months later, the company began shifting from running marketplaces to selling software. In December, it sold off its biggest income-earning unit, NECX, and recently brought in former SAP exec Christopher Larsen to help power private exchanges.

16. AvantGo
Wireless software

AvantGo almost quintupled its revenue in 2000 by partnering with Compaq, Kyocera and Palm, and by signing on major customers such as American Express, Ford Motor and Yahoo!. But the company, which offers software and services to extend corporate information and content to mobile employees and customers, had to cut its work force 15 percent in the face of the market downturn.

17. Verisign
Security software, domain names

The demand for secure transactions over the Web fueled VeriSigns 460 percent revenue growth in 2000. And while the need for security software and digital certificates of authentication increased, much of the companys growth was due to its $21 billion acquisition of Network Solutions, the worlds leading provider of Internet domain name registration.

18. CacheFlow
Content networking

Founded by Michael Malcolm — the former president of Network Appliance — and with Internet wonderboy Marc Andreessen on its board, CacheFlow broke new markets for caching and intelligent routing products. Revenue growth has been spectacular, but the stock has plunged from $112 per share to $6 since the IPO. The underdog company has carved out a niche as a thought leader.

19. Network Engines
Scalable Internet server appliances

Network Engines revenue grew 346 percent in 2000. But in the first three months of this year, sales of its thin, rack-mounted servers dropped 59 percent from a year ago. President and CEO John Curtis, appointed March 20, says the company plans to invest further in storage appliances to build its base.

20. FreeMarkets
B2B auction holder

While the business-to-business industry is slumping, FreeMarkets model seems to be holding up. Fortune 500 customers, able to save 15 percent on trading costs using FreeMarkets auctions, pushed the companys 2000 revenue to $91.3 million. Faced with a slow economy and regulatory delays, FreeMarkets in June called off a planned merger with Adexa.