When Travis Kalanick was kicked out of his own company in June 2017 after a long and ugly boardroom war with Uber’s early investors, it seemed that he had no friends left in the Uber circle. It turns out, apparently, there is one Uber investor who is still willing to work with him.
Kalanick announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he has found a new job: CEO of a real estate company called City Storage System (CSS), a Los Angeles-based company that repurposes distressed real estate assets like abandoned parking lots and strip malls into spaces for new businesses.
Kalanick’s new venture capital fund, 10100 (pronounced ten one hundred), has agreed to invest $150 million in the company in exchange for a controlling interest. The investment will buy out most of CSS’ holdings by existing investors, including famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, sources familiar with the transaction told Recode.
CSS is the parent company of CloudKitchens, an Uber-like platform for food delivery service founded by Diego Berdakin, a Los Angeles entrepreneur and an early investor in Uber.
Berdakin is a serial entrepreneur and an investor in a number of prominent tech companies, including Dropbox and Nasty Gal. His most notable venture is fashion e-commerce platform BeachMint (co-founded with MySpace founder Josh Berman), which was acquired by media group Condé Nast in 2014.
CloudKitchens is now a partner with UberEats. CSS also runs a similar program called CloudRetail, focusing on non-food delivery services.
“The $150 million investment in CSS is driven by the massive reposition [of] unproductive assets to fuel job creation,” Kalanick wrote on Twitter. “There are over $10 trillion in these real estate assets that will need to be repurposed for the digital era in the coming years.”
Kalanick announced the launch of his 10100 fund earlier this month. He said the fund will focus on investing in real estate, e-commerce and innovation in China and India, with the ultimate goal of large-scale job creation.
CSS currently has 15 employees, and Kalanick is looking for more.
“For anyone who wants to get to work at our 15-person startup, email me,” he wrote.