Founders: Caryn Seidman-Becker (CEO), Ken Cornick
Headquarters: New York City
Funding: $150 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies: Facial recognition
Industry: Travel & leisure, Enterprise technology
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 2 (No. 39 in 2020)
Before the pandemic, CLEAR was best known for providing a biometric security service that let frequent fliers zip through airport security. In May, after airport travel plummeted, CLEAR launched Health Pass, a major new feature in the CLEAR app for iOS and Android that securely stores Covid information, such as test results or vaccination records. The idea is that if the company can verify that everyone has tested negative before holding a large event, it can reduce the risk of a super-spreader.
Since Health Pass launched, it has made significant inroads, particularly with stadiums that hold sporting events and need to check the status of many people quickly. In February, 100 vaccinated health-care workers were able to attend the Super Bowl by verifying their status through Health Pass. A third of NBA teams are using the app to enforce their Covid protocols for fans. People attending NHL hockey games in Arizona use Health Pass too.
Health Pass also can help travelers reduce mandatory quarantines. In Hawaii, travelers can get a negative Covid-19 test and put it in their app. When they do so, they won't have to quarantine for 10 days.
Investors and potential customers see opportunity in CLEAR's new line of business. In February, the company announced a $100 million funding round, with backers including investment firms connected to Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, the NFL, and the Partnership Fund for New York City.
As more people get vaccinated and concerts, sporting events, and large gatherings re-open, it's becoming increasingly likely that patrons will have to digitally convey their Covid vaccination or testing status to get admitted. CLEAR's Health Pass is quickly becoming one of the primary standards.
—Contributed by Kif Leswing
SIGN UP for our weekly, original newsletter that goes beyond the list, offering a closer look at CNBC Disruptor 50 companies, and the founders who continue to innovate across every sector of the economy.