HomeOperationsZum on Financial Times List of Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies

Zum on Financial Times List of Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies

When founded in 2014, Zum set out to disrupt the traditional model of school transportation by introducing a different model of service, vehicles and technology to students and parents, one that relied on app-based ride-hailing rather than school buses.

Fast-forward nine years, and Zum finds itself as a school bus company, too, and one of the fastest-growing companies in all industries, according to the Financial Times. The media outlet listed Zum at No. 228 on its list of The Americas’ 500 Fastest-Growing Companies 2003. Based on research conducted with German data provider Statista that ranked compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2018 and 2021. Zum’s absolute growth rate over that period was nearly 246 percent with a compound growth rate at 51 percent.

To be listed, companies headquartered in one of the 20 countries in North, Central or South America had to have revenue of at least $100,000 in 2018 and at least $1.5 million in 2021. They also had to be independent organizations and not subsidiaries or branch offices of any kind.

Though a privately held company, the analysis found that Zum posted $31.8 million in revenue in 2021, up from $9.2 million in 2018. Over that time, the company grew from primarily being an app-based rideshare geared toward parents of K-12 students to becoming a total transportation provider for the likes of Los Angeles Unified School District and Seattle Public Schools, where service began this school year, and existing customers in San Francisco Unified and Oakland Unified in California’s Bay Area. The company has since extended its reach in Californian and to Spokane, Washington, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Ritu Naranyan, founder and CEO of Zum, posted on Linkedin Tuesday that she was “thrilled” to see her company listed, as “it is a testament to our customers and the change they want in the industry with our technology and business model.”

Zum now focuses on deploying fleets of multi-size vehicles — ranging from large and small school buses to SUVs that are transitioning to 100-percent electric — to fit the specific needs of school districts and the students they serve. The company also offers a turn-key, cloud-based and scalable platform for routing and scheduling of vehicles, driver performance reports, student attendance and specialized care instructions, administrator dashboards, and parental notifications.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated 2018 revenue for Zum. 

Related: Update: Los Angeles Unified School Bus Drivers Strike Over ‘Unfair Practices’
Related: School Bus Driver Recognized for 50-Plus Years Behind the Wheel
Related: CEO: Zum Will Be Ready for Start of LAUSD School Year

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