31. Pinterest

An image is worth $11 billion

Founders: Ben Silbermann (CEO), Evan Sharp
Launched: 2010
Funding: $1.3 billion
Valuation: $11 billion (PitchBook)
Disrupting: Retail, e-commerce, social media
Rival: The Fancy

George Kavallines

Since launching in 2010, Pinterest has amassed more than 175 million active users around the world, as well as 1 million businesses. For those who don't consider themselves "pinners," the site enables people to create, collect and share ideas online by "pinning" them to their virtual bulletin boards.

Read More FULL LIST: 2017 DISRUPTOR 50

To stay relevant and keep users engaged, the company recently launched Lens. The product basically allows users to point at an object (a chair, blouse or fruit, for instance) with their smartphone and receive related information about that item on Pinterest. The whole area of computer vision — allowing a computer to look at things the way a person does — is exploding, and Pinterest says it's found a way for it to work in the context of its site.

The company took in roughly $300 million in revenue last year, nearly triple 2015's total, mainly through ads that run on its site and mobile app. Co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann has ruled out an IPO anytime soon, focusing instead on how to build out its core advertising business, he told the Wall Street Journal. Since its founding, Pinterest has raised $1.3 billion from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel and Bessemer Venture Partners and is valued at $11 billion, according to PitchBook.

Latest Special Reports

  • In a world of big box retail and e-commerce, successful business owners are taking new paths to Main Street success.

  • Covid-19 is expected to be with us for years even if the colossal investment in treatments and vaccines eventually manages to contain and control the global pandemic. The world will look dramatically different in its wake. As businesses begin the shift from crisis mode to planning for the lasting impact of Covid, CNBC’s journalists will hunt for cases of companies and industries taking a leading role in shaping Our New Future.

  • 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.