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Japanese midtier startups outpace blue-chips' growth

Resisting deflation and adapting to a changing market are keys to success

Developer Akatsuki's mobile games can remain popular for years on end.

TOKYO -- Midsize companies listed on five startup-focused Japanese exchanges enjoyed faster sales and profit growth than larger counterparts for the fiscal year ended in March, thanks to unique business models that can flourish in a deflation-prone economy, a Nikkei Inc. survey shows.

The survey released Thursday ranked 208 businesses based on six indicators including earnings growth, return on assets and market capitalization. Each was founded in 1997 or later and has annual sales totaling 100 billion yen ($897 million) or less.

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