Disruptor 50 2020

28. Ripple

Founders: Chris Larsen, Arthur Britto
CEO: Brad Garlinghouse
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: San Francisco
 $293 million
Valuation: $10 billion
Key technologies:
Money transfers
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

George Kavallines

In a world where video can be streamed from the International Space Station, it's crazy to think that the fastest way to move money from San Francisco to Bangkok is to bring it in a suitcase on a plane. Ripple's goal is to change all that through the use of blockchain. The San Francisco-based company uses a cryptocurrency called XRP to facilitate cross-border transactions for its network of financial institutions. It also utilizes an interbank messaging system that's used by banks to send money around the world. 

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By using the power of blockchain, Ripple says it is modernizing the global payments infrastructure and is making the task of sending money around the world as easy, fast and inexpensive as sending an email. It claims to have over 300 financial services customers globally and has signed partnership deals with American Express and Santander. Last June it announced a partnership with MoneyGram, one of the world's largest money-transfer companies. The partnership uses Ripple's On-Demand Liquidity, or ODL, technology to enable money to be sent from one currency and instantly settled in the destination currency. Today MoneyGram moves 10% of its transaction volume between the U.S. and Mexico through ODL.  

The company made headlines  in January 2018 when the value of an XRP token rose above $3 for a brief period, making Larsen wealthier than Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for a short time, and Ripple worth more than most banks in the world. It's pulled back significantly, however, and now sits at around 20 cents. Still, investors like its position in the market. In December it raised $200 million from Tetragon, SBI Holdings and Route 66 Ventures, bringing the company to a valuation of $10 billion.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies