Uber founder Travis Kalanick gets Microsoft investment for startup

Microsoft believes in second probabilities — not less than for Travis Kalanick. 

Lower than 5 years after he stepped down as CEO of Uber amid a string of scandals, Kalanick has reportedly scored an funding from Microsoft for his new firm. 

The tech big invested in a November 2021 fundraising spherical that valued Kalanick’s startup, CloudKitchens, at a whopping $15 billion, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. 

CloudKitchens reportedly raised a complete of $850 million in debt and fairness financing from a number of backers within the spherical, although its unclear precisely how a lot Microsoft invested. 

Microsoft reportedly participated in a $850 million CloudKitchens fundraising spherical.
Getty Photographs

CloudKitchens didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Microsoft declined to remark. 

CloudKitchens’ enterprise mannequin facilities round changing warehouse area into so-called “darkish kitchens,” which it then rents out to eating places. The eating places save on overhead prices by not providing in-person eating and as an alternative promote their meals via supply apps like Uber Eats and Seamless.

The corporate reportedly has greater than 4,000 staff within the US, UK, Latin America and the Center East. 

Kalanick stepped down as Uber CEO in 2017 amid investor strain following allegations that he ignored sexual harassment on the firm, amongst different controversies.

“I really like Uber greater than something on the earth and at this tough second in my private life I’ve accepted the traders’ request to step apart in order that Uber can return to constructing moderately than be distracted with one other battle,” Kalanick stated on the time.

Kalanick then offered off his stake in Uber and reinvested a lot of the money into CloudKitchens. 

Uber eats delivery drivers
CloudKitchens rents kitchen area to eating places that promote meals via supply apps like Uber Eats.
Getty Photographs

But traders who beforehand backed Uber have largely steered clear from CloudKitchens — with two notable exceptions. 

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which gave Uber $3.5 billion in 2016, poured $400 million into CloudKitchens in 2019.

Microsoft, likewise, beforehand invested $100 million in Uber in 2015 earlier than reportedly turning into CloudKitchens’ first outdoors US investor in November. 

In response to the Monetary Instances, CloudKitchens has struggled from related cultural points as Uber. A former senior worker quoted by the outlet described CloudKitchens as “essentially the most poisonous place I’ve ever skilled.” 

Kalanick isn’t the primary scandal-scarred founder to make a comeback this summer time. 

In August, enterprise capital big Andreessen Horowitz invested a reported $350 million in a brand new residential actual property startup run by Adam Neumann, who beforehand based WeWork and was accused of encouraging a raucous workplace tradition powered by marijuana and tequila that allegedly fostered sexual harassment. 

Whereas Andreessen Horowitz argued that Neumann was “rising from classes discovered” at WeWork, critics pointed to Neumann’s comeback as proof that “dangerous conduct” by straight white males is “not solely tolerated, however rewarded” in tech. 

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