Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reveals new project: a ‘job creation’ fund

Nine months after he was forced to resign as CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick has a new baby: an investment fund named 10100.

On Wednesday, Kalanick announced the creation of 10100 – pronounced “ten-one-hundred” – on Twitter, saying that the “overarching theme” of the fund’s work would be “large-scale job creation”.

Kalanick also said that the fund would undertake for-profit investments in real estate, e-commerce, and “emerging innovation” in China and India, as well as non-profit work focusing on education and “the future of cities”.

A spokesman for Kalanick declined to provide further details, saying by email: “Stay tuned.”

The erstwhile executive has largely stayed out of the news since Dara Khosrowshahi replaced him at the ride-hail company’s helm following a string of scandals and power struggle with Uber’s investors. He did appear in court in February to testify in the trade secrets dispute between Uber and the Google spin-off Waymo.

But Kalanick’s sale of a portion of his Uber shares as part of SoftBank’s investment in the company in January transformed him from a paper billionaire to an actual money-in-the-bank billionaire, so the establishment of a family office was a logical step.

Kalanick’s stated interest in job creation and the future of cities are noteworthy given his outsize impact on both as the chief executive of Uber.

Hundreds of thousands of people drive for Uber, though the company does not directly employ them. Uber’s independent contractor model has been widely criticized for its low wages and lack of benefits, even as many other app-based companies have adopted the so-called “gig economy” model.

Uber has also been criticized for its effect on the cities where it is most popular. An increasing number of studies have shown that ride-hail apps increase urban congestion by pulling passengers away from public transit.

Kalanick also offered an apparently personal email account – travis@10100fund.com – to “anyone who wants to get to work”, though we imagine one of 10100’s first steps will be to hire a secretary.