3-8-18 2:47 AM EST | Email Article
By Greg Bensinger 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (March 8, 2018).

Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber Technologies Inc. who last year was ousted as chief executive by the ride-hailing company's venture investors, is now becoming a venture capitalist.

The 41-year-old said Wednesday that he formed a new venture fund called 10100, pronounced "ten one-hundred." The announcement, made on Twitter, states that Mr. Kalanick's fund will invest in e-commerce, real estate and companies in China and India. It will also make nonprofit investments in education and the future of cities, he said.

"The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation," Mr. Kalanick said. He couldn't immediately be reached to comment.

He is backing the fund with his own money, a spokesman said, after having sold roughly 30% of his stake in Uber to SoftBank Group Corp. early this year for around $1.4 billion.

Mr. Kalanick seemingly has a love-hate relationship with venture capitalists. He raised more venture capital -- some $15 billion -- than any other startup CEO to turn Uber into the world's most valuable private company, and himself into a billionaire on paper. At the same time, he has repeatedly described getting spurned by venture capitalists in his earlier days as an entrepreneur, and last year squared off against some of Uber's biggest shareholders.

In June, Mr. Kalanick resigned as Uber's CEO following a number of controversies, including a workplace probe that stemmed from allegations that Uber managers allowed sexual harassment and sexism to fester. Five major shareholders in Uber pushed for his resignation, ending his seven-year reign.

Following his ouster, he engaged in a bitter public feud with Benchmark Capital, which led the charge to remove Mr. Kalanick from Uber and later sued him over board control. The two sides have since settled their legal issues.

Mr. Kalanick has since remained on the board, and he unilaterally appointed two directors last year. He also testified as part of Alphabet Inc.'s suit against Uber alleging theft of self-driving car trade secrets.

He has spent time in Southern California with his father, who was injured in a boating accident last year that killed his mother, say people familiar with the matter.

Additional details about the fund couldn't be learned, including whether it yet had made commitments to invest.

On a startup funding website called AngelList, Mr. Kalanick lists a dozen personal investments aside from Uber, including web-marketing firm Livefyre, which was bought in 2016 by Adobe Systems Inc.

He recently joined the board of Irvine, Calif.-based Kareo Inc., a medical office software company in which he was an early investor.

Some people on Twitter speculated Mr. Kalanick's fund name is a reference to "googol," a mathematical term that means 10 raised to the power of 100, and inspired the name of the company, Google. There is another venture firm in Los Angeles with a similar name, called TenOneTen Ventures.

A spokesman said the name was a reference to the address of Mr. Kalanick's childhood home.

Write to Greg Bensinger at greg.bensinger@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2018 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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