2. Uber

Faring better in the post-Travis era.

Founders: Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp
CEO: Dara Khosrowshahi
Launched: 2010
Funding: $13.1 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $69.6 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous vehicles
Disrupting: Public transportation, taxi and limousine services

George Kavallines | CNBC

Opening an app and ordering a car is so yesterday for ride-hailing giant Uber. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, former CEO of Expedia, has announced a flurry of new initiatives to remake the beleaguered company into nothing less than a global marketplace for transportation. Maybe that's why the ride-hailing giant leaped to No. 2 on this year's CNBC Disruptor list, up from No. 19 last year. Included in the chief's new plan: car-sharing vehicles, car rentals, public transportation such as buses and trains and, its most recent purchase, Jump, a dockless bike company Uber acquired in April. The company has also vowed to share more of its traffic-pattern data with cities in order to become "true partners for the long term," Khosrowshahi said during a recent meeting in Washington, D.C.

Read More: FULL LIST: 2018 DISRUPTOR 50

The new strategy comes on the heels of a rocky 2017. There were executive defections (including founder Travis Kalanick), allegations of sexual harassment and accusations of stealing trade secrets from Alphabet's self-driving car company. Now it seems Uber is getting back on track. Yes, there was a devastating accident in March when one of its autonomous vehicles struck and killed a woman in Arizona.

But the urban mobility platform is still growing — minus the drama. Gross bookings were $37 billion last year, up from $20 billion in 2016. Net revenue (the amount left after paying drivers) reached $7.4 billion in 2017, an increase of nearly 14 percent over the prior year. Also fueling the company's growth is UberEATS, which it launched in 2016. The food-delivery service is now available in 120 cities worldwide and is actually bigger than the company's ride-hailing business in several Asian markets, including Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul, South Korea.

But perhaps the most eye-opening number of all is how much money this still-private company has been able to raise from investors: $21 billion. Venture funds, including those from Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, are among those that have poured money into the company, which has yet to post a profit. Still, Khosrowshahi addressed Uber employees in August and said an IPO is likely in 2019 or 2020.

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