Uber’s former CEO investing in tech start-ups

WHO YOU KNOW::Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick said he has spent the past few months joining boards, including a health start-up his friend Dan Rodrigues launched


Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 10

Travis Kalanick, the former chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc, said he is forming an investment fund to back technology start-ups.

The fund, called 10100, is to focus on real estate and e-commerce start-ups, as well as technology businesses in China and India.

He also plans to work with nonprofit endeavors in education and cities.

His new firm, pronounced “ten one-hundred,” encapsulates Kalanick’s “passions, investments, ideas and big bets,” he said.

Kalanick, who cofounded Uber nearly a decade ago, was ousted from his ride-hailing company after a tumultuous period last year. He sold about US$1.4 billion in stock to a group of new investors led by Softbank Group Corp in January and remains on the board.

Kalanick has spent the past few months making investments, joining boards and working with entrepreneurs and nonprofits, he said on Wednesday.

Health start-up Kareo Inc last week said Kalanick had joined its board. The company was started by Dan Rodrigues, a longtime friend of Kalanick’s.

Separately, Uber is seeking US$1.25 billion in its second foray in the US leveraged loan market, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company has begun approaching loan investors directly to borrow the funds, instead of going through banks, and has scheduled a meeting today to discuss the financing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Uber last tapped the loan market in 2016 for a US$1.15 billion loan, a deal arranged by Morgan Stanley.

Uber, which posted an annual loss of US$4.5 billion this month, is an atypical issuer for the loan market, where decisions on how much to lend are typically tied to borrower debt ratios using earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Uber’s adjusted pro-forma EBITDA for the fourth quarter last year was negative US$475 million, according to documents seen by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Grab Co, the dominant ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, is close to finalizing a deal to acquire Uber’s business in the region and might soon sign a deal, people familiar with the matter said.

Under terms of the proposed agreement, Grab would buy out Uber’s operations in certain markets in Southeast Asia and Uber would take a stake in Grab, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.