2. Lyft

The car-ownership killer with a conscience

Founders: Logan Green (CEO), John Zimmer
Launched: 2012
Funding: $2.6 billion
Valuation: $7.5 billion
Disrupting: Public transportation, taxi and limousine service
Rival: Uber

George Kavallines

There's nothing like a string of bad news about your chief rival to brighten up the day. Lyft, the San-Francisco-based ride-sharing company is now positioning itself as the ethical alternative to Uber's bad-boy reputation and seems to be winning. It moved up in this year's Disruptor list to No. 2 (from No. 27 last year) and outranks No. 19 Uber.

Read More FULL LIST: 2017 DISRUPTOR 50

To further set itself apart from the mounting lawsuits and bad press now hammering Uber, Lyft recently rolled out its Round Up and Donate program. It allows passengers to round up their fare to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to charity.

There are some other big differences that could set Lyft apart in the years ahead. Chief among them: self-driving cars. Lyft has teamed up with Waymo, the self-driving car unit operating under Google, on product development.

Last year it announced a deal with auto giant General Motors that the two companies are teaming up to build a network of self-driving cars. In February, Reuters reported that GM would begin testing thousands of its self-driving Bolts in Lyft fleets as early as next year. GM owns 9 percent of Lyft, and its president, Dan Ammann, sits on Lyft's board of directors.

Last year Lyft handled more than 160 million rides — triple the number in 2015 — and recently completed a new, $600 million round of funding from investors such as Alliance Bernstein, KKR, Japanese retailer Rakuten and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

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