Founders: Babak Nivi, Naval Ravikant (CEO)
Date launched: 2010
Funding: $24.1 million
Industries disrupted: Investing, Venture Capital
Disrupting: Andreessen Horowitz, The Blackstone Group, Wells Fargo
Competition: Hyperfund, Kickstarter, SeedInvest
AngelList is trying to solve one of the thorniest problems encountered by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs: attracting the attention of angel investors. This 4-year-old firm, based in San Francisco, has created an online forum where start-up founders post their ideas and get to meet investors who provide equity financing for early-stage companies.
Last year 500 companies raised $125 million through the site. Co-founder and CEO Naval Ravikant has been quoted as saying that his company's mission is "to make start-up investing transparent, efficient and more open." Once start-ups fill out a detailed profile on AngelList, they can pitch hundreds of investors—financial firms as well as wealthy individuals—at once. AngelList handles the regulatory paperwork and takes a small fee from any start-up that is acquired or goes public.
Read MoreFULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50
Ravikant started the company because he didn't want entrepreneurs to suffer the confusion and disappointment he experienced after starting and selling his first company. Even in the Valley, forewarned is forearmed.
How did you come up with your big idea?
"My co-founder and I were blogging at Venture Hacks and explaining to people how to negotiate a term sheet from a VC. People asked us to stop telling them how to negotiate it and asked us instead, 'How do I get a term sheet?' ... and AngelList was born."