[Funding alert] Uber ex-CEO Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens secures $400 M from Saudi sovereign wealth fund
Uber Co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick's food delivery startup CloudKitchens has secured funding worth $400 million from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund. Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing sources that the deal marks the coming together of the co-founder of the US-based ride-hailing giant and the Saudi fund, which has been a backer of Kalanick.
It stated that the funding that was completed in January, valued CloudKitchens, a subsidiary of Kalanick's Los Angeles-based company City Storage Systems, at $5 billion.
That Kalanick is stepping the gear on his CloudKitchens business, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He had the first-hand exposure to this segment as the CEO at Uber Technologies Inc, through the company’s Uber Eats business. An experience, which he is pouring into the cloud kitchen segment, or ghost kitchens as they are also known as.
Riding the wave of online food deliveries and increasing disposable income, by 2023, the online food ordering market is estimated to touch a whopping $17.02 billion. And this is just in India, globally the numbers are naturally grander.
Uber’s Co-founder and former CEO is all set to have a share of this pie if the latest developments are any indication.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Kalanick’s City Storage Systems had invested in Pune-based Rebel Foods, which operates 11 cloud kitchens including Faasos and Behrouz Biryani. This was supposedly the “in” Kalanick’s company was looking to make an entry into the world’s fastest-growing online sectors.
Apart from this, not much is known about the former Uber CEO’s latest venture, CloudKitchens, which operates ghost kitchens allowing restaurants and eateries to add new business without leasing physical space.
However, CloudKitchens, as per a Bloomberg report that cited Financial Times, is said to have acquired FoodStars, a London-based dark kitchen startup.
(Edited by Suman Singh)