Almost nine months after his unceremonious exit from Uber, one of the world’s most valuable startups, which he had co-founded, Travis Kalanick is gearing up for his next venture—and India features on his list of priorities.
On March 07, the former CEO of San Francisco-based Uber said he is setting up an investment fund called 10100 (pronounced ten-one-hundred), which will back nascent companies in India and China.
“It (the fund) will be overseeing my for-profit investments as well as my non-profit work,” Kalanick said in a tweet. “The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation, with investments in real estate, e-commerce, and emerging innovation in China and India. Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities.”
The announcement comes shortly after Kalanick sold 29% of his stake in Uber for a massive $1.4 billion (Rs9,088 crore).
Kalanick resigned from Uber in June 2017 following allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the company. In the following months, the company was accused of taking bribes in Asia, spying on its competitors, and sweeping a major data breach under the carpet. Kalanick’s exit, coupled with the continued troubles, has caused the company some serious damage and it is still struggling to come out clean.
However, Kalanick seems to have turned a fresh page. In the past few months, he has become an angel investor for several startups, including software firm Pantheon, social media platform Blippy, online artwork community Deviant Art, and medical startup Kareo, on his home turf in California.
Putting the spotlight on India is an unsurprising move. Even during his tenure as Uber’s CEO, he was bullish about building the business in India despite pushback from local competition and authorities. Under his leadership, in January last year, Uber invested around $50,000 (around Rs33 lakh) each in three Indian startups: on-demand ambulance aggregator Ambee, micro-tour curator SeekSherpa, and agriculture startup LeanAgri.
For those looking to join Kalanick in his second innings, he’s now accepting emails and applications at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you think Kalanick won’t go through his own emails and pick you, think again. After all, Ryan Greaves, Uber’s first CEO, became its first hire after replying to a tweet by Kalanick back in 2010.