Travis Kalanick launches new fund to back startups from India & China

9 months after his ouster from one of the world’s most valued startups, Uber co-founder and former chief executive officer Travis Kalanick is all set for his second innings.
 
Kalanick has launched a new fund for his personal investments in startups, for-profit, and not-for-profit work.
 
Kalanick who has been working towards his next journey over the past few months, said he has been making investments, working with several company boards as also engaging with entrepreneurs and non-profits.
 
Interestingly a large part of the investments from the fund, named 10100 (Ten one Hundred) will be focussed towards innovations in India and backing Indian startups.
 
“The over-arching theme will be about large-scale job creation, with investments in real estate. E-commerce, and emerging innovation in China and India. Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities,” tweeted Kalanick on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Kalanick’s fund which will scout for innovative business models, is in line with his belief that San Francisco, Beijing, and Bangalore remain the major innovation hubs across the world and places where he is likely to make his bets.
 
The former Uber CEO has so far, made angel investments in a slew of startups globally including software firm Pantheon, social media platform Blippy, online artwork community Deviant Art and medical startup Kareo whose board he serves on as well, amongst others.
 
Kalanick’s dreams to turn investor come shortly after reports suggested he was looking to sell at least one-third of his stake in the ride-sharing giant he built. Kalanick will reap a whopping $1.4 billion post that sale to Japanese internet giant Softbank and a consortium of investors who agreed to buy his equity valuing Uber at $48 billion, reported Bloomberg.
 
Kalanick resigned from Uber last June but remains on the company’s board of directors and held a 10% stake in the ridesharing company prior to the sale.
 
Kalanick’s investments in the Indian startup ecosystem will be keenly watched, where Uber competitor Ola is looking to raise up to $1 bn as it shores up cash to beat its US-based rival here.
 
After Softbank, Ola’s largest backer since 2014, also became the largest shareholder in Uber, it sparked speculation of a merger or acquisition of the US company’s Indian operations with Ola. One round of discussions took place between the two companies but the talks did not progress, although it is possible that a fresh round might take place in June, ET had reported earlier.
 
However, Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi maintained that India remains a core market for the ride-hailing firm which will continue to aggressively invest and grow its share in the market. Uber’s global loss jumped 61% to $4.5 billion in 2017, with aggressive investments in India and Southeast Asia being one of the main reasons.
 
However, despite a year that rocked Uber with sexual harassment allegations, lawsuits over intellectual property theft and investigations by the Justice Department, causing Kalanick to move out of one of the wealthiest technology startups built globally, 2018 is all set to mark his return to the ecosystem doing what he does best - building startups.
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