Uber co-founder sells 90% of stake in business


Uber co-founder, former CEO and billionaire businessman Travis Kalanick has sold more than 90% of his stake in the multi-national ride-hailing company.

Travis Kalanick, who is behind start up CloudKitchens, has been cashing in his shares daily since 6 November and has sold more than US$2.5 billion of Uber shares in total, the Wall Street Journal reported.

After his latest sale filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 18 December, 43-year-old Kalanick still owns more than 8.2 million shares worth about US$250 million, which is less than 10% percent of his original stake.

Kalanick was a co-founder of Uber with Garrett Camp, co-founder of StumbleUpon, Oscar Salazar and Conrad Whelan, in San Francisco in 2009.

Kalanick resigned from his position as CEO in June 2017 after being sued for fraud and hit with accusations over Uber’s handling of sexual harassment and discrimination from some of Uber’s biggest investors. Dara Khosrowshahi assumed the position of CEO of Uber in August 2017.

In June 2018 Kalanick’s real-estate investment company City Storage Systems took a controlling interest in UK-based FoodStars, which provides equipped restaurant kitchens for restauranteurs and chefs in over 100 locations in London. Kalanick, using US$300 million of his own money, turned it into CloudKitchens, which has opened in locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund completed an agreement with CloudKitchens in January 2019 to invest US$400 million in the company.

Uber priced its IPO at US$45 a share, giving the company a valuation of about US$82 billion, which is below the US$100 billion that was targeted.

Uber was first traded on the stock market last May, with one of the largest public share offers in the history of the tech industry.

Since then its shares have lost 30% of their value, with the company incapable of meeting the expectations of investors.

In the last quarter, the ride-hailing company lost US$1.2 billion, which came after losing US$5 billion the previous quarter.

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