The Disruptor 50 is a list of the venture-backed companies deemed most likely to unseat industry incumbents.
Just as Google turned the advertising industry on its head by creating efficient and measurable marketing online, and how it then took desktop applications and let consumers work in the cloud, the companies on CNBC's list are vying to uproot household names through a combination of technology and business-model innovation.
As much influence as Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have in the technology world today, Google's tentacles spread the farthest and widest. Several companies on the disruptor list, including Pinterest, Hearsay Social and Nutanix, have Google alumni on the founding teams.
"They're the monster," said Salman Ullah, who led corporate development at Google from 2004 to 2007 before co-founding venture firm Merus Capital in Palo Alto, California. "No one has been able to get close."
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As an investor, Google has turned into a powerhouse in just a few short years. Google Ventures (GV), which typically backs young start-ups, was founded in 2009 and has about $300 million a year to invest. Google Capital, the company's late-stage investing arm, said in early 2014 that it had about the same amount to put to work for the year.
That's still a small fraction of the $9.8 billion Google spent on research and development last year, accounting for 15 percent of revenue.
Google Ventures investments that made the list include local social site Nextdoor, mobile collaboration app Slack and security company Synack.
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"GV is itself a big, bold bet by Google," said Bill Maris, a managing partner at Google Ventures. "The same aspirations that drive Google to take big chances and think long term is the same vision that is shared by Google Ventures and our portfolio companies."
For Kleiner Perkins, showing up as the top investor on the list is a sign that the John Doerr-led firm still has a healthy amount of mojo despite a tumultuous stretch from a legal and public relations standpoint.
In March, Kleiner Perkins wrapped up a three-year defense of a gender discrimination suit filed by former partner Ellen Pao. The firm won the case, but not before many sensitive details were exposed on the challenges women face in the male-dominated venture business.