Travis Kalanick's Undying Love for India Returns With a New Fund
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You cannot take away entrepreneurship from an entrepreneur. The man who gave us Uber, Travis Kalanick had been missing in action ever since his exit from the cab-hailing company. His much-talked about exit was after the gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims made by several female employees. But now he has made a comeback with a new fund – 10100.
The fund will focus on Indian and Chinese innovations, which made the announcement of the fund an interesting one for the Indian start-up ecosystem.
Kalanick took to Twitter to announce the fund, which he said will be home to his passions, investments, ideas and big bets.
He tweeted, “The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation, with investments in real estate, e-commerce, and emerging innovations in China and India. Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities.”
Recently, Kalanick sold a third of his entire stake in Uber to Softbank Capital which gave him a whopping $1.4 billion. Kalanick had also begun making investments, with the most recent one being Kareo, an Irvine-based medical healthtech company. He had even joined the board of the company.
While more details about the fund are awaited, Kalanick’s interest in Indian innovations is not new. Entrepreneur India takes a look at how the billionaire entrepreneur has been bullish about the Indian market and its innovations.
Uber’s India Ride Driven by Kalanick
Even when he was the CEO of Uber, Kalanick was bullish about the Indian market. He once spoke about even acquiring Indian citizenship to ensure Uber works swiftly on the Indian roads, while also pushing a big part of Uber's investments into the Indian market. Kalanick was always sure about India being a priority market for the cab-hailing start-up, something that has been continued by his successor Dara Khosrowshahi. In an interview with a national daily, Amit Jain, Uber India President, had said that Kalanick during his term with Uber was deeply involved in the India business.
Since its entry into India in 2013, Uber has built a strong customer base and has over 5 million active weekly users in India.
Kalanick Believes in India's Jugaad
Kalanick has even visited India multiple times, most recently for the launch of the UberMOTO in India. During his visit, which was filled with meetings with ministers and bureaucrats, Kalanick spoke to start-ups too at Hyderabad’s T-Hub. He spoke about India’s way of doing business (joking that jugaad has become his favourite word). While interacting with start-ups, he stressed on the need for founders to tether their ideas to reality. Advising start-ups to go global, he asked them to go ahead with it as that they wouldn’t know about the consequences unless they do it.
During his visit to T-Hub, Kalanick also signed up with an Indian start-up DesiOPT, which helps Indian students in the US find jobs there. Kalanick immediately signed up with the start-up for a one-year contract with Uber.