In the eighth annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC identifies private companies whose breakthroughs are influencing business and market competition at an accelerated pace. They are poised to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with tech platforms that have the power to dominate. The start-ups making the 2020 Disruptor list are at the epicenter of a world changing in previously unimaginable ways, turning ideas in cybersecurity, education, health IT, logistics/delivery, fintech and agriculture into a new wave of billion-dollar businesses.
A majority of them, in fact, already are billion-dollar businesses: 36 disruptors this year are unicorns that have already reached or passed the $1 billion valuation mark. Maybe more important this year: 37 have hired new employees since the pandemic began, and 19 have pivoted their products or launched new ones to meet the challenges of the pandemic.
The 50 companies selected using the proprietary Disruptor 50 methodology have raised over $74 billion in venture capital, according to PitchBook, at an implied Disruptor 50 list market valuation of near-$277 billion. Technology is already a major part of our daily lives and the public markets, and that will only increase on the other side of Covid-19, from the future of food supply to health-care diagnostics and the way we shop, study, work and pay.
Heal, a six-year-old start-up that combines technology and doctor house visits, has needed to pivot in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than send doctors to users’ homes — its original business mode — the company is now using telemedicine to see patients. Only afterward, if deemed necessary, will the company send a doctor on a house call.
When the company was first launched, the goal was to provide a more humane and convenient option for primary care, especially for folks who found it difficult to get to a doctor’s office. The idea has been warmly received. Heal has raised $95 million in funding and is backed by such celebrities as Lionel Richie and former Gov. Jeb Bush.
For the safety of patients and doctors during the pandemic, all of Heal’s appointments are being booked as telemedicine calls. A patient can talk to a doctor from the comfort of their own home through their mobile device or laptop. If a patient needs to see a doctor in person, Heal will use its discretion to book a house call. Without insurance a telemedicine call is $79; a house call is $159. For those with private insurance, a co-pay varies by plan but is typically between zero and $30. The cost for seniors on Medicare: zero, or a co-pay up to $20.
In September Heal bought Doctors on Call in New York City, marking the company’s entry into its largest single city and making its services now available to more than 75 million Americans in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, New York City, Sacramento, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia.