Robinhood leads the way in CNBC’s 2021 Disruptor 50 ranking.
This is the list of disruptive companies, those who have made it through not only surviving a pandemic, but also growing and bringing about major change in the tech industry of which they are a part.
CNBC notes that these are 50 companies that have played a key role in the ongoing economic and social transformations. Of these, 34 are unicorns that have surpassed $1 billion in valuation. 10 of them are worth over $10 billion. In total, they have raised $72 billion in venture capital, and are worth $388 billion.
The crypto companies in CNBC’s Disruptor 50
As mentioned, Robinhood leads CNBC’s Disruptor 50, and is called Wall Street’s Frenemy. In the dedicated tab, it says that the company is valued at $11.7 billion. This isn’t the first time Robinhood has made this list. To be precise, it is the fifth. But in 2020 it was at No. 46, while this time it is at the top.
The reasons are easy to explain. Robinhood has had a turbulent year: the pandemic has multiplied its use. Many people have downloaded the app and thanks to it have approached trading, which is convenient, easy and commission-free. This brought it into the eye of the storm.
Robinhood has been accused of making trading a game. But the worst was yet to come, and indeed it arrived at the end of January, with the Gamestop affair, when the coordinated action of young traders who used Robinhood to buy shares in the video game company put at least a couple of hedge funds in crisis.
Robinhood was forced to make unpopular decisions (blocking trading for some stocks where a short squeeze was in progress), and even had to report to the US Congress.
Today, Robinhood, which since 2018 also lists some cryptocurrencies, under the leadership of CEO Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, is working to make the app more professional and less of a “game” and could soon debut on the stock exchange with an IPO. In any case, it has fulfilled its mission to make trading democratic. And that is disruptive.
At number 38 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50, there is Ripple, with the following definition: Making waves in crypto regulation. Again, this is not a debut: Ripple was already present in 2020, at position 28.
Ripple and RippleNet’s mission is to facilitate cross-border payments using blockchain technology and the XRP cryptocurrency. However, this has been a year of ups and downs for Ripple: the lawsuit with the SEC, the collapse in the price of XRP, then the recovery of the markets with staggering gains have made these last few months very eventful.
Today Ripple is worth $10 billion and is backed by giants such as SBI Holdings and Banca Santander as well as Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. In short, all the conditions are in place for it to grow further.