Travis Kalanick, the founder and former chief executive of Uber, has stepped down from the company’s board of directors, severing his last tie with the company.
Mr. Kalanick, 43, started the Uber in 2009 with co-founder Garrett Camp, and grew it from a small start-up to a behemoth that defined the ride hailing industry. The company went public in May, and has since struggled on the public market. The board forced Mr. Kalanick to resign as chief executive in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment and privacy incidents.
Talk about selling out. Kalanick’s reign of burning a seemingly endless supply of cash may have finally come to an end, but Uber continues to hemorrhage cash. Travis has been riding the IPO pony to cash out slowly (which, I should add, many others were not so lucky). A majority of his shares have been locked-up since the IPO, which is why he didn’t sell them en masse. There’s no ambiguity about this $2B conclusion, he’s done with Uber.
The bottom line: A whopping 81% of the $29.55 billion in equity that Uber has raised is underwater. IPO investors have lost $655 million, while investors from 2016 and 2018 have between them lost $2.27 billion.
Losers: Investors who bought Uber shares 3 years ago have lost 15% of their money, before fees. The opportunity cost is even greater: Investors in the S&P 500 have seen their money grow by 50% over the same period.
It’s still early days — but I’m still largely a proponent of Lyft (and the subsidiary Motivate for that matter). Personally, I believe Uber will bleed into oblivion thanks to the rat-race of short sellers. But if automation is the key to profitability (for any ride-hailing company), Uber just shot the starting pistol.