Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was booted almost two years ago from the ride-hailing business he built into a global behemoth, still owns 8.6 percent of the company, a stake that could be worth close to $9 billion.
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Kalanick owns 117.5 million shares of Uber, making him the third-biggest stakeholder, behind SoftBank and Benchmark, according to the company’s IPO prospectus filed Thursday. With the company poised to debut at a valuation that could reach $100 billion, Kalanick is set to become one of the world’s 200 richest people.
It’s been a rocky road to riches for Kalanick, who was celebrated in Silicon Valley for helping start Uber in 2009 and for pioneering a new industry that aimed to modernize the taxi experience for the smartphone era. Kalanick raised billions of dollars for Uber from some of the most notable tech investors to expand the business across the globe and build out a complicated infrastructure that also put the company squarely in the food delivery and shipping markets.
But a host of controversies involving the company’s culture, its treatment of drivers, and its failure to investigate and disclose abuse claims from riders, as well a high-profile legal fight with Alphabet over self-driving car technology, eventually left Kalanick in conflict with his board and top shareholders. Partners at top backer Benchmark demanded his resignation in 2017. While Kalanick is still on the board, he’s left any functional role at the company and is now running a venture fund he started called 10100 (ten one hundred).
Kalanick, like other insiders, will have to wait six months before he can turn that paper profit into real money because of the post-IPO lockup period. The market could swing wildly during that period for any number of reasons. Rival Lyft is trading well below its $72 initial public offering price from last month, leaving some insiders on edge.
But Kalanick has already realized some of his gains after selling $1.4 billion worth of stock to SoftBank in early 2018. That transaction was part of a larger deal that made SoftBank the company’s biggest shareholder with 16 percent ownership, followed by Benchmark at 11 percent.