When you have a net worth in the billions, you go from being just an ordinary citizen to a person of interest. This young man, achieving a billionaire status at a young age has been on the lips of many amidst his many companies and achievements. Travis Kalanick is an American billionaire businessman who is known for co-founding companies such as Scour (an application that allows for peer-to-peer file sharing), Swoosh (an application that allows for peer-to-peer delivery), and most popularly Uber (a transport network company).
His full name is Travis Cordell Kalanick and he was born on the 6th of August, 1976 in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. He grew up in Northridge, California alongside his brother, Cory and his two half-sisters, one of whom is the mother of the popular actress Allisyn Ashley.
Travis Kalanick attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he obtained a degree in Computer Engineering and Business Economics. During his time in college, he was a member of the popular fraternity, Theta Xi. It was also during his time in college that he dared to venture into business, creating an online file exchange service which he called Scour. Years later, this service which started as the small idea of a college boy would eventually grow to become a flourishing business. He dropped out of college in 1998 to focus his attention fully on his business.
His Career Before Uber
Travis Kalanick began his business officially in 1998 after he dropped out from the University of California, Los Angeles. Turns out, he wasn’t the only one who had dropped out of college to fully develop this business as his college friends Michael Todd and Vince Busam had also dropped out to help in the creation of Scour Inc. This company provides a multi-media search engine and also a peer-to-peer file sharing service. The company met with a lot of success in corporate America until 2000 when a bunch of associations had filed a $250 billion lawsuit against the company on account of copyright infringement. To escape this lawsuit, Travis Kalanick had filed for bankruptcy in September 2000.
The following year, Travis Kalanick and Michael Todd started another company they called Red Swoosh; a peer-to-peer file-sharing company very similar to Scour. However, this new company took advantage of the Internet’s bandwidth efficiency to allow the transfer of large files. They were largely supported by former employees of Scour. Due to the struggles of building a company from scratch, Travis had it rough for a while and recounts moving back into his parents’ house. He also owed about 110 thousand dollars in the form of taxes which put him under a lot of investigation. Travis Kalanick lost a lot of employees and was charged with committing a number of tax and securities fraud and perjury during the investigation. However, he was never persecuted. His breakthrough came in 2007 when his company was bought for $19 million by Akamai Technologies.
In 2009, with the idea of his friend Garrett Camp, Kalanick co-founded the popular transport service called Uber. Initially, Kalanick was listed as a mega advisor to the company but in 2010, he was named the CEO succeeding Ryan Graves. However, 7 years later, Travis Kalanick was asked by Benchmark Capital to resign from his office of the CEO after controversy over over-looked sexual harassment cases against the company erupted. He resigned a few days after the death of his mother and maintains a seat on the company’s board of directors.
What is Uber Travis Kalanick Doing Now After He Resigned as Uber CEO?
After his resignation as the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick has been anything but idle. In December 2016, he became an economic advisor to the president of the United States, Donald Trump along with other CEOs such as Elon Musk, Bob Iger, Jack Welch, Jamie Dimon, and Mary Barra. However, his position as an advisor was short-lived as a few months, he stepped down from the position after much pressure from his company Uber.
In 2018, Travis Kalanick announced that he would be starting a fund called 10100 (pronounced ten-one-hundred) which would focus on tackling large scale unemployment by investing in real estate especially in markets like China and India. He manages a real estate investment company called City Storage Systems and in June 2018, took control over the popular UK based startup, Dark Kitchen. He also serves on the board of advisors for the plan of Neom City, Saudi Arabia to build a “megacity” in the desert.