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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Uber's Ex-CEO Kalanick Scores $400 Million for Startup: WSJ

(Bloomberg) -- Travis Kalanick’s secretive new food startup took $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 Inc. 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 U.S. 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 U.K.’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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