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Game-changing Brands 2017

Company: Airbnb

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Travel / Hospitality

Founders: Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky, and Joe Gebbia

Year formed: 2008

Website: www.airbnb.com


Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service for booking short-term leases or rentals. Covering everything from vacation rentals, apartment rentals and homestays to hostel beds and hotel rooms, Airbnb has revolutionized travel / hospitality by allowing nearly anyone to list properties on its platform, and by focusing the experience as well as the destination.


Company: Ancestry.com

Headquarter City: Lehi, Utah

Industry: Internet Technology (Genealogy)

Founders: Paul Brent Allen and Dan Taggart

Year formed: 1983

Website: www.ancestry.com


Through its access to billions of genealogy records including Census, SSDI & military records, Ancestry.com enables the discovery of family history in a much more emotional and personal manner than ever before.


Company: Dropbox

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Business Data Storage Solution / Collaboration Platform

Founders: Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston

Year formed: 2007

Website: www.dropbox.com


Dropbox is a file-hosting service which strives to simplify the way we create, share and collaborate through its cloud storage, file sharing and synchronization, and software solutions. From its early days, it has leveraged innovative growth strategies to achieve its original ambition: to simplify how people work and collaborate.


Company: Glassdoor

Headquarter City: Mill Valley, CA

Industry: Internet Technology (Job Search / Recruitment)

Founders: Rich Barton, Tim Besse, and Robert Hohman

Year formed: 2007

Website: www.glassdoor.com


Glassdoor allows employers and prospective employees alike to search millions of jobs and get the “inside scoop” on companies through employee reviews, personalized salary tools, and more. By democratizing the insider view on jobs, Glassdoor has disrupted the traditional job search and recruiting industries.


Company: Houzz

Headquarter City: Palo Alto, CA

Industry: Internet Technology (Interior Design / Home Improvement)

Founders: Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko

Year formed: 2009

Website: www.houzz.com


As a platform for home remodeling and design, Houzz connects users with home improvement professionals to provide people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – from products and professionals to advice and inspiration. By introducing interactivity and access to an otherwise traditional industry, Houzz has made the interior design and remodeling industries simple and engaging.


Company: Hulu

Headquarter City: Los Angeles, CA

Industry: Digital TV Provider (Streaming Service)

Founders: Beth Comstock and Jason Kilar

Year formed: 2007

Website: www.hulu.com


An early mover in the subscription video on demand (SVOD) and content streaming space, Hulu has maintained relevance through content acquisition and content expansion, as well as its use of experiential marketing and a user-friendly interface enabled by new technology. Its original content has even garnered it numerous Emmys as Hulu continues to break new ground for streaming services.


Company: LegalZoom

Headquarter City: Glendale, CA

Industry: Internet Technology (Legal Service)

Founders: Edward Hartman, Brian Lee, Brian Liu, and Robert Shapiro

Year formed: 2001

Website: www.legalzoom.com


LegalZoom provides personalized, online legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses and families. Through its use of technology, LegalZoom has disrupted the standard legal services industry by helping customers create legal documents without having to hire a traditional lawyer, dramatically lowering prices and therefore expanding the consumers’ and small businesses’ ability to access legal services.


Company: Lyft

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Transportation Services (Ride Sharing)

Founders: Logan Green and John Zimmer

Year formed: 2012

Website: www.lyft.com


Lyft is a peer-to-peer transportation platform that connects passengers who need rides with friendly drivers willing to provide rides using their own personal vehicles. Its highly customer centric approach has been rooted in fun, friendliness and accessibility from the start, even as it continues to expand its offer and evolve its personality over time.


Company: Magic Leap

Headquarter City: Plantation, FL

Industry: Virtual / Augmented Reality Technology

Founders: Roy Abovitz, Randall Hand, Sam Miller, and Brian Schowengerdt

Year formed: 2011

Website: www.magicleap.com


Magic Leap is designing augmented reality technology via a currently in-development headset which will provide a visual experience equivalent to reality. Although it has not yet released a product, Magic Leap has generated significant excitement among both consumers and investors due to the immense potential for revolutionizing VR and AR.


Company: Oscar

Headquarter City: New York City, NY

Industry: Internet Technology (Health Insurance)

Founders: Josh Kushner, Kevin Nazemi, and Mario Scholosser

Year formed: 2013

Website: www.hioscar.com


Oscar is a health insurance company that employs technology, design, and data to humanize health care. Its friendly, accessible, and user-centric approach to an industry with historically negative perceptions has enabled Oscar’s relationship with consumers to be rooted in trust and even positivity, transforming overall sentiment toward the category.



Company: Peloton

Headquarter City: New York, NY

Industry: Fitness/Technology/Media

Founders: John Foley, Tom Cortese, Yony Feng, Graham Stanton, Hisao Kushi

Year formed: 2012

Website: www.onepeloton.com



Peloton is changing the way people get fit by combining live-streaming boutique studio cycling content with socially connected indoor bikes. Peloton leverages cloud-based streaming video technology and an immersive touchscreen to deliver workouts led by a team of certified instructors to riders all over the world. The Peloton bike is one’s own private cycling studio—breaking the boundaries of a typical exercise bike and transporting riders to the center of real-time, high-energy workouts wherever and whenever their schedule allows.



Company: Pinterest

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Online Sharing & Networking

Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann

Year formed: 2010

Website: www.pinterest.com


Pinterest is a visual discovery and planning platform. Users (“pinners") can get ideas on topics ranging from recipes, places to travel, and products to buy, and then save the things they love to their own boards. This interactivity and accessibility, combined with social elements in which users can engage with and gain inspiration from other pinners, has disrupted traditional boundaries of discovery, possibility and ideation.


Company: Slack

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Collaboration Platform

Founders: Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, and Serguei Mourachov

Year formed: 2013

Website: www.slack.com


With services ranging from real-time messaging and archiving to search for modern teams, Slack is a team communication application that has changed the way cooperation happens at work and on projects. Slack's approach to marketing pursues the highest quality user experience possible; when combined with its array of messaging solutions and product features (including integration with a number of third-party services), Slack’s powerful tool has revolutionized the way work is done.


Company: SoFi

Headquarter City: San Francisco, CA

Industry: Internet Technology (Financial Services)

Founders: Ian Brady, Michael Cagney, James Finnigan, and Daniel Macklin

Year formed: 2011

Website: www.sofi.com


SoFi is a modern finance company taking an unprecedented approach to lending and wealth management through its online solutions to personal finance. In addition to providing standard financial services including student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans, SoFi has a unique member services component which gives customers a more positive experience and also helps them succeed in ways traditional financial institutions rarely do.


Company: SpaceX

Headquarter City: Hawthorne, CA

Industry: Transportation (Aerospace Manufacturing)

Founder: Elon Musk

Year formed: 2002

Website: www.spacex.com


SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX’s mission and technology strive to significantly lower the cost of space travel by developing and using re-usable components, breaking through both longstanding approaches to aerospace manufacturing, and expectations around the feasibility of space travel.