As a growth-focused investor, I like to see a company's top line expanding quickly. Of course, it's necessary to look at the big picture, too. But in general, strong revenue growth tends to indicate that a company has a viable product or service and that it's gaining market share.

When evaluating a potential investment, it's also important to consider whether a company can keep growing quickly. Rapid expansion today means nothing if it's not sustainable, at least to some extent.

Working from those criteria, stocks like Cloudflare (NYSE:NET), CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD), and Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) look like good long-term investments. Here's why these are three potential top growth stocks to buy right now.

1. Cloudflare: The edge cloud platform

Cloudflare provides both employee-facing and consumer-facing solutions, which are designed to improve the security, reliability, and performance of networks.

Person with extended arm and open palm; arrows are rising from the open palm.

Image source: Getty Images.

For instance, Cloudflare's content delivery network (CDN) moves applications and websites closer to the end user. It may not seem like it, but it takes time for data to move through the internet, and by moving content to secure servers that are physically closer to users like you and me, Cloudflare makes the internet faster.

Clients also use Cloudflare to securely connect to the internet and corporate networks from any location, using any device. The company's network-as-a-service offering empowers remote employees with a fast, secure experience, enabling them to access resources and applications from anywhere. Notably, Cloudflare supports integrations with identity providers like Okta and endpoint protection platforms like CrowdStrike, further bolstering security.

Compared to rivals like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cloudflare is infrastructure agnostic, meaning it's not biased toward any specific cloud environment. In fact, Cloudflare supports multi-cloud strategies by acting as an interconnect between different public clouds. More to the point, Cloudflare is faster and up to 75% less expensive than AWS.

Those advantages have helped the company add new customers quickly, which has powered strong revenue growth.

 

2017

2020

CAGR

Customers

49,309

111,183

31%

Revenue

$134.9 million

$431.1 million

47%

Data source: Cloudflare SEC filings. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

Cloudflare recently partnered with chipmaker NVIDIA to bring AI capabilities to its platform, furthering its ability to compete with large rivals like AWS. Now, developers will be able to build AI-powered applications at the edge, benefiting from NVIDIA's computing power and Cloudflare's speed. That should help the company continue to grow its business.

2. CrowdStrike: The intelligent cybersecurity cloud

CrowdStrike pioneered cloud security, building the industry's first AI-powered, multi-tenant cybersecurity platform in 2011: CrowdStrike Falcon. That fancy phrase means its Falcon platform crowdsources data from all clients, then uses artificial intelligence to predict and prevent attacks across a range of devices. That's a big deal since the average data breach costs an enterprise $3.86 million.

Digital rendering of a padlock.

Image source: Getty Images.

Compared to legacy systems, CrowdStrike's software-as-a-service solution offers several advantages: First, cloud-based software is cheaper. Clients don't need to buy costly onsite hardware or deal with the complexity of managing the infrastructure.

Second, CrowdStrike collects far more data than any single enterprise ever could, making its AI models more effective. Additionally, CrowdStrike combines traditional methods of detection (i.e., malware signatures) with more sophisticated behavioral analysis to block all types of attacks -- legacy solutions are unable to offer the same protection. This has helped CrowdStrike stake its claim as the industry's leading security cloud.

According to internal estimates, CrowdStrike's Falcon platform reduces the total cost of ownership by 87% compared to on-premise systems. That value has powered strong customer growth, which has translated into rapidly rising revenue.

Metric

2018

2021

CAGR

Customers

1,242

9,896

100%

Revenue

$118.8 million

$874.4 million

95%

Data source: CrowdStrike SEC filings. Note: Fiscal 2021 ended Jan. 31, 2021. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

Many of today's trends are creating new opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals. More enterprises are moving to the cloud and implementing digital solutions, more devices are connecting to the internet, and more employees are working remotely, often from unprotected home networks. All of those trends emphasize the need for effective cybersecurity, and they should fuel CrowdStrike's growth in the coming years.

3. Okta: The identity and access management specialist

The Okta Identity Cloud is a software suite that enables users to securely access applications, services, and resources from any device. Its platform encompasses two use cases: internal (workforce) and external (customers).

For instance, enterprises use Okta to deploy, secure, and provision employee access to applications. And developers use Okta to build consumer-facing software that incorporates Okta's identity platform, saving them the cost and complexity of creating their own solution.

In early May, Okta completed its acquisition of Auth0, enhancing its offering to developers and strengthening its position in the customer identity and access management (CIAM) market.

Like Cloudflare, Okta benefits from its neutrality. Unlike Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Okta is not affiliated with any public cloud. Instead, it's an independent solution designed to integrate with virtually any application, service, or cloud. This allows Okta's clients the freedom to use the products they choose.

That advantage has powered strong revenue growth for this tech company.

Metric

FY2018

FY2021

CAGR

Customers

4,350

10,000

32%

Revenue

$260 million

$835.4 million

48%

FY= Fiscal YearData source: Okta SEC filings. Note: Fiscal 2021 ended Jan. 31, 2021. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

Recently, Okta launched two new products: Identity Governance and Privileged Access. These complement its existing identity and access management solutions, opening new market opportunities. As a result, management now values Okta's addressable market at $80 billion, leaving it with plenty of room to grow.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.