16 Weird Things We've Learned About Uber's Billionaire Co-Founder Travis Kalanick
No matter what you think of Travis Kalanick, there's no debating the success of the company he built. Users of Uber have hailed more than a billion rides in more than 600 cities across the globe since Kalanick co-founded the San Francisco-based company in 2009. Uber's success has netted Kalanick a fortune that's at least $1.4 billion, after he sold about 29 percent of his shares. The company was most recently valued at $48 billion.
Uber has changed the transportation industry, dragging it into the world of smartphones kicking and screaming.
Kalanick's time as CEO of Uber was marred by controversy, including an investigation into rampant sexual harassment at the company that ended in his recent resignation. Still, Uber's success is the envy of the startup world.
On March 7, Kalanick announced via Twitter that he has created a venture capital fund, 10100.
Some news… pic.twitter.com/urFBrb9aCV— travis kalanick (@travisk) March 7, 2018
Click through the slideshow to read some interesting things we've learned about Kalanick.
When he was 18, Kalanick and a partner started an SAT prep business, New Way Academy. Kalanick apparently scored 1580 on his SATs.
Skirting the IRS
Kalanick's second company, Red Swoosh, opened four months after Scour shuttered in 2000. To save money while operating the company, Kalanick moved back to his parents' house before relocating to Thailand in 2006. The company once withheld income taxes from employee paychecks -- which is illegal -- but Kalanick was able to raise money from investors to pay the tax bill. Red Swoosh was sold to Akamai in 2007 for about $19 million. Kalanick became a millionaire.
Wii Tennis wiz
The "jam pad"
Brash and abrasive
Hot tub Kalanick
Kalanick apparently has a superhuman ability to stay submerged in hot water for long periods of time. “Travis can spend eight to 10 hours in a hot tub,” Chris Sacca once said. “I’ve never seen a human with that kind of staying power in a hot tub.”
The 14 values
Sex rules letter
The frugal billionaire
Despite his wealth, Kalanick is known for being frugal. A former employee of Kalanick's at Red Swoosh remembers one time when they went out to lunch: Kalanick "forgot his wallet." He’s also proudly admitted to flying coach and staying at cheap hotels. For years, he rode an old motorcycle to work, even in pouring rain. Of course, he rides in Ubers, too, as seen in the now infamous video of him yelling at a driver released earlier this year.
Still, it seems, he does make big purchases. The Wall Street Journal reports that Kalanick recently closed a deal on "a glamorous New York City penthouse for about $36.4 million." The 6,655 square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, a private elevator and a rooftop terrace with a private heated pool and outdoor kitchen.