41-year-old Travis Kalanick is no stranger to controversy. The former Uber CEO was forced to resign from the ride-sharing giant’s leadership last year after a series of scandals, including reports of sexism, a toxic work culture, legal troubles, and a video of Travis screaming at an Uber driver. Since his departure from Uber, he has maintained a relatively low profile, although Uber’s stock performance has effectively made him a billionaire. Travis recently joined the board of medical software startup Kareo and has now announced plans to come up with his own investment fund.
In a tweet posted yesterday, March 7, Travis said that he’s setting up a new job creation-focused investment fund called 10100 (pronounced “ten-one-hundred”). He said that the focus of the firm would be on job creation in emerging markets like India and China, and it would oversee for-profit as well as non-profit investments. The full statement from Travis is below:
Over the past few months I’ve started thinking about what’s next. I’ve began making investments, joining boards, working with entrepreneurs and non-profits. Today I’m announcing the creation of a fund called 10100 (pronounced “ten-one-hundred”), home to my passions, investments, ideas and big bets. It will be overseeing my for-profit investments as well as my non-profit work.
The overarching 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.
For anyone who wants to get to work, email me at email@example.com.
Despite his resignation from Uber, Travis’s legacy continues to overshadow the company. Current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has spent a lot of time in damage control of various controversies that began under Travis, including a lawsuit from Alphabet-owned Waymo that was settled last month, and the revelation late last year that Uber had tried to cover up a security breach that revealed records of 57 million Uber drivers and users. However, as The Verge notes, Travis’s influence in Uber has reduced following a recent deal with Japanese company SoftBank that diluted Travis’s shares in Uber, gave SoftBank control of two seats on Uber’s Board of Directors, and changed the voting balances of Uber’s shareholders.
Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw has claimed on Twitter that the name of the new 10100 fund is a reference to the “street address of Travis’s childhood home”. The new fund is then perhaps an attempt to return to basics, and a chance for Travis to leave his tarnished Uber image behind him and make a fresh start. Can Travis Kalanick really put his Uber days behind him? Time will tell.