Uber’s Ex-CEO Kalanick Lands $400 Million for His Secretive Food Startup CloudKitchens
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former CEO of Uber, has not been in the news lately. It turns out Kalanick has been busy working on his new secretive food startup, CloudKitchens. According to a report from Bloomberg, citing Wall Street Journal, Kalanick has just secured $400 million of funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The funding valued CloudKitchens at about $5 billion.
Travis Kalanick is currently the CEO at City Storage Systems, a real estate investment startup that focuses on re-purposing distressed real estate assets and turning them into spaces suited for new industries. He founded the startup in June 2018 to capitalize on the rapid growth of prepared-food delivery sector.
Later in that year, City Storage Systems took controlling interest in U.K.-based FoodStars, a “dark kitchens” startup with over 100 locations throughout the London metropolitan area. Dark kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens, are purpose built facilities that are leased to restaurants to prepare food for delivery, off-site from their full-service/walk-in location. Ghost kitchens also allow “virtual restaurants” (those with no full-service location) to launch brands and offer delivery-only service. City Storage Systems ghost kitchen business operates under the new startup Cloud Kitchens
CloudKitchens enables restaurants to set up kitchens for the purposes of catering exclusively to customers ordering in, as that’s how many people are consuming restaurant food in increasing numbers. The kitchens are established in underutilized real estate that Kalanick is snapping up through a holding company called City Storage Systems.