Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is joining a startup called City Storage Systems. The company was formerly led by Diego Berdakin, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and an early Uber investor. Kalanick will be the new CEO and is investing $150 million into the 15-person startup.
City Storage Systems focuses on repurposing distressed real estate assets into spaces suited for new industries. Kalanick wrote, “There are over $10 trillion in these real estate assets that will need to be repurposed for the digital era in the coming years.” The company was formerly called CloudKitchens.
Many of the company’s projects involve buying and repurposing real estate assets in the food and retail space. The company’s website reads: “We provide infrastructure and software that enables food operators to open delivery-only locations with minimal capital expenditure and time.”
With the investment, Kalanick will have a controlling interest in the holding company. Previous backers of the company included prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and entrepreneur Sky Dayton, who was a co-founder of the company. Palihapitiya’s Social Capital venture fund led the company’s most recent financing round.
City Storage Systems is Kalanick’s fourth startup. The first one was file-sharing company Scour, which went out of business. The second was Red Swoosh, sold to Akamai for $19 million.
Kalanick is best known as the cofounder and former CEO of Uber. He stepped down from his post in June 2017 under pressure from major company shareholders. At the time, Uber was in the midst of a flurry of scandals
Kalanick recently cashed out a portion of his Uber stake worth $1.4 billion cash. He used part of that money to launch his personal investment fund, called 10100 (pronounced Ten One Hundred). According to someone familiar with the matter, the name is a reference to the street address of his childhood home. The fund is meant to oversee both his for-profit investments and his charitable philanthropic gifts.