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Thu 7 Nov 2019 04:47 PM

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Uber's ex-CEO said to get $400m from Saudis for food start-up

Wall Street Journal says Travis Kalanick has received funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund

Uber's ex-CEO said to get $400m from Saudis for food start-up

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Travis Kalanick’s secretive new food start-up has taken $400 million of funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter it didn’t identify.

The financing valued the ex-Uber Technologies chief executive officer’s CloudKitchens at about $5 billion, according to the report, which said the deal was completed in January.

A spokesman from PIF declined to comment.

Kalanick, who was ousted in 2017 from the US ride-hailing leader he co-founded after a series of scandals, is betting on so-called dark kitchens becoming a backbone for the rapidly expanding food-delivery market.

The idea is to let eateries add new business without needing to lease a traditional restaurant space. The UK’s Deliveroo helped pioneer the idea, but CloudKitchens - a subsidiary of Kalanick’s Los Angeles-based City Storage Systems - acquired London-based dark kitchen startup FoodStars last year according to a Financial Times report in March.

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