19. Uber

The car controversy with a valuation bigger than Tesla, GM or Ford

Founders: Travis Kalanick (CEO), Garrett Camp
Launched: 2010
Funding: $14.69 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $68 billion (PitchBook)
Disrupting: Public transportation, taxi and limousine services
Rival: Lyft

George Kavallines

Amidst an avalanche of bad news over the past year concerning executive defections, allegations of sexual harassment, a toxic work culture, stealing trade secrets from Alphabet's self-driving car company, and CEO Travis Kalanick's bizarre and embarrassing argument with an Uber driver captured — naturally — on video, this ride-hailing giant continues to grow. The company revealed to Bloomberg that it more than doubled gross bookings in 2016 to $20 billion. Net revenue, it claims, was $6.5 billion, but adjusted net losses (excluding the China business it sold last summer) were still a draw-dropping $2.8 billion.

Read More FULL LIST: 2017 DISRUPTOR 50

Since its founding in 2010, and despite ongoing controversy, Uber has continued to expand. The company, whose name is now commonly used as a verb (as in "I'm going to Uber it home"), is found is more than 500 cities and 75 countries worldwide. Venture funds, including those from Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, have poured nearly $15 billion into the company, giving it a valuation of around $68 billion, according to PitchBook. And Uber's not just transporting people anymore. Last year the company launched UberEATS, a food-delivery service available from more than 40,000 restaurants in 71 cities worldwide.

In the meantime, Kalanick has vowed to hire a chief operating officer to help him run the company and presumably aid in preventing the kind of ugly headlines Uber has been racking up of late. Given the PR, it looks like investors are going to be waiting just a little longer for Uber's IPO.

Latest Special Reports

  • Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    CNBC’s financial reporters weigh in on what every investor needs to know when it comes to companies' earnings reports.

  • CNBC's 'After Hours' breaks down the day's top business stories and most-talked about interviews from CNBC's airwaves.

  • Cutting across various industries and the public sector, CNBC's Technology Executive Council offers insight on pressing issues facing tech.