Many tech companies regularly update their growth forecasts for the current quarter and full fiscal year. Yet only a handful of companies are confident enough to set longer-term goals for the next few years.

So when a tech company sets an ambitious multi-year growth target, I pay attention -- it indicates the company's core business is strong, it will benefit from secular tailwinds, and it isn't fearful of macro challenges.

Some of these companies even claim they can roughly double their annual revenues within the next five years. Let's take a look at three of these bold companies -- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV), and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) -- and see why have such rosy expectations for the future.

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1. Salesforce

Last December, Salesforce -- the world's largest cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) service provider -- told investors that it would generate more than $50 billion in annual revenue by fiscal 2026. That would be more than double its revenue of $21.25 billion in fiscal 2021, which ended this January.

Salesforce expects that growth to be driven by demand for cloud services across all five of its core markets -- sales, service, marketing & commerce, platform, and analytics & integration. It expects the total addressable market (TAM) for those five markets to grow at a combined CAGR of 11% between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2025 to $175 billion.

It expects its own revenue -- driven by market share gains, new investments, and acquisitions -- to outpace the broader market with a CAGR of 19% between fiscal 2021 and 2026.

Salesforce's cloud-based services help companies streamline their sales and customer support teams, automate repetitive tasks, crunch data to make AI-driven decisions, and reduce their dependence on human employees. Demand for these services will likely continue climbing as companies optimize their operations -- regardless of the macroeconomic tailwinds or headwinds.

2. Veeva Systems

Salesforce's former senior VP of technology, Peter Gassner, co-founded Veeva in 2007 to address the unmet need for dedicated CRM and cloud services among life science companies. Today, Veeva's services -- which are powered by Salesforce -- serve over 1,000 customers, including pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca. These companies use Veeva's services to manage their sales teams, track the latest clinical trials and regulations, and store and analyze large amounts of data.

Veeva doesn't face any meaningful competitors in this niche market, and escalating competition between drugmakers keeps its customers tightly locked in. It ended last year with a revenue retention rate of 124% -- which indicates it generated 24% more revenue from its existing customers.

That's why Veeva believes it will more than double its annual revenue from $1.47 billion in fiscal 2021 (which ended this January) to $3 billion in calendar 2025 (which includes most of fiscal 2026). Like Salesforce, Veeva expects to benefit from the long-term digitization of businesses -- albeit with a much tighter focus on the life sciences market.

3. PayPal

PayPal, one of the world's top online payment companies, ended last quarter with 392 million active accounts. But this February, it told investors it would nearly double that figure to 750 million by 2025.

PayPal also expects to more than double its annual revenue, from $21.45 billion in 2020 to over $50 billion in 2025, and for its earnings to grow at a CAGR of 22% during that period. It expects the growing acceptance of QR code and NFC payments worldwide, the expansion of its ecosystem with new financial services, and higher engagement rates within its apps to all feed that long-term growth.

PayPal faces a growing list of competitors in the online payments market, but it recently raised its processing fees in the U.S., which indicates it still has plenty of pricing power. PayPal's Venmo also remains a popular app for peer-to-peer payments, and could serve as a foundation for more fintech services -- just as Square expanded its Cash App into a cryptocurrency and stock trading platform.

PayPal's goals are ambitious, but the ongoing war on cash and rising mobile penetration rates suggest this high-growth fintech company still has plenty of room to grow.

The key takeaways

Investors should take these forecasts with a grain of salt, but Salesforce, Veeva, and PayPal have all consistently beaten Wall Street's expectations and churned out robust growth through economic downturns.

All three companies established first-mover's advantages in their respective markets, own forward-thinking technological platforms, and face very few meaningful competitors. I believe these core strengths could help all three companies meet -- or even beat -- their goals of doubling their revenues within the next five years.

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.