Co-founder and former CEO of the worldâ€™s largest cab aggregator Uber Technologies, Travis Kalanick, is looking to sell around 29% of his stake in the company, according to a report in Bloomberg.
As per a Reuters report, the 29%, which is nearly one-third of his shares will amount up to around $1.4 billion. This sale will be a part of the fund raising round led by Softbank, also involving a group of investors, which is looking to pick up 17.5% stake in the ride hailing company.
As part of the deal, where most of the early investors and employees are selling stake, Travis too offered to sell half of his total shares. However, given the limit on how much SoftBank can buy, he is selling only 29% of his stake, reports Reuters. Terms of the deal do not allow investors to sell more than 58% of their shares. Interestingly, there has been a widespread interest among early investors and employees to sell. After long-drawn negotiations, SoftBank received a nod from shareholders and is expected to close the deal early this year.
Once the transaction goes through, Travis could earn about $1.4 billion from the transaction, and Uber is expected to be valued at $48 billion. Travis, on his part, will become a billionaire for the first time as a result of the sale, Bloomberg reports.
Travis is known to have long boasted that he never sold any shares in the company that he co-founded. However, over the past year, things havenâ€™t been looking up for the former CEO who was forced to resign by the board after the worldâ€™s best funded startup found itself embroiled in several controversies including a lawsuit from Alphabet over its self-driving technology.
Some of the early investors such as Benchmark also slapped lawsuits against Travis seeking to oust him from the board alleging that Travis duped them into gaining three seats on the board.
Uber was also faced with a lawsuit filed by the Delhi rape case victim after reports emerged that Uber tried to inappropriately gain access to her medical reports and that Travis was aware of the same. There were several reports of a misogynistic company culture as well.
However, once the SoftBank deal closes, a number of governance reforms â€“ pertinent to this deal â€“ will kick in, which will significantly reduce Travisâ€™ influence at the company he co-founded.