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Uber’s Former Boss Travis Kalanick makes his First Investment in India

Uber’s Co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick has made his first ever investment in India’s startup ecosystem. Kalanick’s real estate company City Storage Systems (CSS) was among the several investors in Rebel Food’s recent fundraising of $125 Mn, according to Bloomberg.

Travis Kalanick of Uber at LeWeb Paris 2013…Image Source: Adam Tinworth, Flickr

This fundraising round had taken place last month with investment giant ‘Goldman Sachs’ and Indonesia headquartered on-demand services company ‘GoJek’ participating in the round. Rebel Food, which operates famous brands like Fasoos and Oven Story, commanded a valuation of around $500 Mn (around 3,700 crore).

But it could not be ascertained exactly how amount has Kalanick’s real estate company invested in the Rebel Food. Times of India, after citing unknown sources, claimed that former Uber CEO contributed only a small cheque during last month’s fundraising round.

Today Rebel Food is one of the prominent players in India’s cloud kitchen industry. Cloud Kitchen, which is apparently the carbon copy of the cloud computing concept, runs network of small kitchens mostly at places that incurs lower real estate prices. This obviously helps in cost-cutting and in making the business more scalable.

Owing to the cost friendly approach, today all the top foodtech players are increasingly lapping up cloud kitchen concept including Swiggy and Zomato. Even Ola’s FoodPanda is now diverting its focus on cloud kitchen business.

Meanwhile, Kalanick’s first investment in India’s startup ecosystem marks the investment debut of yet another high-profile entrepreneur, who at one point of time was the darling of the global startup industry. This was, of course, until he was ousted from Uber in 2017.

Kalanick is often credited for turning Uber’s wheel of fortunes and transforming it into one of the most valued startups in the world. However, his tenure was also marked with several scandals and Uber’s unceremonious exit from many key markets including the highly lucrative Chinese market.


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