Travis Kalanick

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Travis Kalanick
Travis Kalanick LeWeb.jpg
Born Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education UCLA
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Founder & CEO at Uber

Travis Kalanick is an American entrepreneur, the founder of peer-to-peer file-sharing company Red Swoosh and mobile application company Uber.

Early life and education[edit]

Kalanick was born in Los Angeles and went to college at UCLA where he was a brother of the Theta Xi fraternity.[1][2][3]



In 1998, with classmates from UCLA, Kalanick founded Scour Inc., a multimedia search engine, and Scour Exchange, a peer-to-peer file-exchange service.[4][5] In 2000, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) brought a lawsuit against Scour, alleging copyright infringement.[6] In September of that year Scour filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from the lawsuit.[7]

Red Swoosh[edit]

In 2001, with Scour's engineering team, Kalanick started a new company called Red Swoosh, another peer-to-peer file-sharing company. Red Swoosh software took advantage of increased bandwidth efficiency on the Internet to allow users to transfer and trade large media files, including music files and videos. In 2007, Akamai Technologies acquired the company for $15 million.[8][9][10]


In 2009, along with Garrett Camp, Kalanick founded Uber, a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services.[11][12][13] Uber operates in more than fifteen American cities.[14][15] Uber faced some controversy [16] in some cities in North America,[17] like Washington DC[18] Chicago,[19] Toronto,[20] and NYC. [21][22] Travis Kalanick claims and defends the rights of operation of his company against regulators.[citation needed] The company faces fierce competition from similar services[23] and 'clone companies'[24] in cities like London.[25][26]


He speaks at conferences and business events,[27] including Tech Crunch,[28] Tech Cocktail,[29] and LeWeb.[30][31][32][33][34] Kalanick is a polarizing figure. He's frequently described as both "awesome" and a jerk. "Sometimes," one acquaintance said of Kalanick, "--holes create great businesses."[35]

External reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Innovator Under 35: Travis Kalanick, 25 - MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Travis Kalanick - DCWEEK 2012". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  3. ^ Inc Magazine: "Resistance Is Futile" BY Christine Lagorio-Chafkin July 2013
  4. ^ Richtel, Matt (May 22, 2000). "Agent's Role In Music Site May Be Shift In Rights War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  5. ^ Wall Street Journal: "Travis Kalanick: The Transportation Trustbuster" by Andy Kessler January 25, 2013
  6. ^ Richtel, Matt (July 21, 2000). "Movie and Record Companies Sue a Film Trading Site". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  7. ^ Borland, John (September 7, 2000). "Well-scrubbed business plan not enough for Scour". CNET. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  8. ^ Payday for Red Swoosh: $15 million from Akamai | TechCrunch
  9. ^ "April 12, 2007 - Akamai Acquires Red Swoosh". 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Failure and Red Swoosh - Liz Gannes - News". AllThingsD. 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  11. ^ Goode, Lauren (June 17, 2011). "Worth It? An App to Get a Cab". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. 
  12. ^ "Travis Kalanick on Leading Uber, a Car Service". Businessweek. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Travis Kalanick : Startup Mixology Conference – D.C. – June 16, 2011". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  14. ^ Splash Chicago Chicago's, weekly dose of style, society and celebrities, A Chicago Sun-Times Publication
  15. ^ California Über Uber: Why Ride-Sharing Ruckus Should Surprise No One | Wired Business |
  16. ^ CNN Money: "The trials of Uber" By JP Mangalindan February 2, 2012
  17. ^ Uber could take flight, CEO dreams of helicopter and jet rides - GeekWire
  18. ^ The trials of Uber - Fortune Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine
  19. ^ Under new rules, Uber faces Chicago closure | VentureBeat
  20. ^ Uber Toronto facing new licensing charges related to taxi business | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post
  21. ^ App-Powered Car Service Leaves Cabs in the Dust | Gadget Lab |
  22. ^ D.C. official retreats on fare measure aimed at San Francisco limo firm - San Francisco Business Times
  23. ^ Uber CEO: Bring On The Cheap Competition - Business Insider
  24. ^ Look Out, Lyft: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Says It Will Do Ride Sharing, Too | TechCrunch
  25. ^ Taxi Tech at Le Web London | Adrian Melrose
  26. ^ LeWeb London: Uber and Hailo | Licence to Roam
  27. ^ "Travis Kalanick | Chicago Ideas Week". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  28. ^ ryan (2012-09-07). "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Is Going To Keep Up The Disruption At Disrupt SF « Ryan Carnell". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  29. ^ TechCocktail (2010-11-12). "‘Hustle Is The Antidote’ When Starting And Running A Business « Tech Cocktail". Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  30. ^ "LeWeb'11". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  31. ^ "Big Omaha - Travis Kalanick: 'Whatever it is that you're afraid of, go after it'". Silicon Prairie News. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  32. ^ Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 (2012-09-12). "CEO Travis Kalanick Says UberX Numbers Are "Probably At Or Above" Lyft". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  33. ^ "LeWeb 2010 – Money Roundtable, Moderated by Travis Kalanick, Entrepreneur & Angel Investor. | Startup Angel". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  34. ^ "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Is Going To Keep Up The Disruption At Disrupt SF | Tech Crunch IT". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  35. ^ Shontel, Alyson (January 19, 2014) "Why So Many Tech Founders Who Are Jerks Become Insanely Rich And Successful." San Francisco Chronicle. (Retrieved 1-19-14.)

External links[edit]