Travis Kalanick

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Travis Kalanick
Travis Kalanick 2014.jpg
Born Travis Cordell Kalanick
(1976-08-06) August 6, 1976 (age 38)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Residence San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Founder & CEO of Uber
Net worth IncreaseUS$3.0 billion[1]

Travis Cordell Kalanick (born August 6, 1976) is an American entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the peer-to-peer file-sharing company Red Swoosh and the transportation network company, Uber.

In 2014, he entered the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans at position 290, with an estimated net worth of $3 billion.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kalanick was born Travis Cordell Kalanick on August 6, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. He lived in Northridge, California, where he graduated from Granada Hills High School and later enrolled in college at the University of California, Los Angeles, to study computer engineering.[3][4][5] His mother, Bonnie Renee Horwitz Kalanick,[6] worked in retail advertising for the Los Angeles Daily News, and his father, Donald, was an engineer. He has two half-sisters and his brother Cory is a firefighter.[7]



In 1998, Travis Kalanick dropped out of UCLA and with some of his classmates to found Scour Inc., a multimedia search engine, and Scour Exchange, a peer-to-peer file-exchange service.[8][9] 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.[10] In September of that year Scour filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from the lawsuit.[11]

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 $19 million.[12][13][14][15]


Kalanick speaking at DLD Munich 2015

In 2009, along with Garrett Camp, Kalanick founded Uber, a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services.[16][17][18] Uber operates in more than 100 cities around the world.[19][20] Uber faced some controversy [21] in some cities in North America,[22] like Washington DC,[23] Chicago,[24] Toronto,[25] and New York City.[26][27] Travis Kalanick claims and defends the rights of operation of his company against regulators.[citation needed] The company faces fierce competition from similar services[28] and "clone companies"[29] in cities like London.[30][31] In November 2014, Kalanick faced criticism for creating a "win at all costs" culture in his Uber organization. Public relations problems the firm faced included Kalanick's comments to GQ about how easy it is for him to attract women now, concern about his blasé attitude regarding safety issues for female customers, and his toleration of executive Emil Michael, who recommended creating a large budget to smear critics. While Kalanick apologized for Michael's remarks, he did not censure him severely enough to appease some critics.[32]


Kalanick speaking at the Le Web conference in December 2013

He speaks at conferences and business events,[33] including TechCrunch Disrupt,[34] Tech Cocktail,[35] and LeWeb.[36][37][38][39]

External reading[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes Announces Its 33rd Annual Forbes 400 Ranking Of The Richest Americans; 29 September 2014,, accessed 12 November 2014
  2. ^ Forbes Announces Its 33rd Annual Forbes 400 Ranking Of The Richest Americans; 29 September 2014,, accessed 12 November 2014
  3. ^ "Innovator Under 35: Travis Kalanick, 25 - MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  4. ^ "Travis Kalanick - DCWEEK 2012". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  5. ^ Inc Magazine: "Resistance Is Futile" BY Christine Lagorio-Chafkin July 2013
  6. ^ "California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985 about Bonnie R Horwitz
  7. ^ ""Alyson Shontell: All Hail The Uber Man! How Sharp-Elbowed Salesman Travis Kalanick Became Silicon Valley's Newest Star". Business Insider. January 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal: "Travis Kalanick: The Transportation Trustbuster" by Andy Kessler January 25, 2013
  10. ^ Richtel, Matt (July 21, 2000). "Movie and Record Companies Sue a Film Trading Site". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  11. ^ Borland, John (September 7, 2000). "Well-scrubbed business plan not enough for Scour". CNET. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  12. ^ "Payday for Red Swoosh: $15 million from Akamai". TechCrunch. 
  13. ^ "April 12, 2007 - Akamai Acquires Red Swoosh". 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  14. ^ "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Failure and Red Swoosh - Liz Gannes - News". AllThingsD. 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  15. ^ Akamai Goes p2p | Gigaom
  16. ^ Goode, Lauren (June 17, 2011). "Worth It? An App to Get a Cab". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. 
  17. ^ "Travis Kalanick on Leading Uber, a Car Service". Businessweek. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Travis Kalanick : Startup Mixology Conference – D.C. – June 16, 2011". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  19. ^ Splash Chicago Chicago's, weekly dose of style, society and celebrities, A Chicago Sun-Times Publication
  20. ^ "California Über Uber: Why Ride-Sharing Ruckus Should Surprise No One". Wired Business. 
  21. ^ Mangalindan, JP (February 2, 2012). "The trials of Uber". 
  22. ^ Uber could take flight, CEO dreams of helicopter and jet rides - GeekWire
  23. ^ The trials of Uber - Fortune Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine
  24. ^ "Under new rules, Uber faces Chicago closure". VentureBeat. 
  25. ^ Uber Toronto facing new licensing charges related to taxi business | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post
  26. ^ App-Powered Car Service Leaves Cabs in the Dust | Gadget Lab |
  27. ^ D.C. official retreats on fare measure aimed at San Francisco limo firm - San Francisco Business Times
  28. ^ "Uber CEO: Bring On The Cheap Competition". Business Insider. 
  29. ^ "Look Out, Lyft: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Says It Will Do Ride Sharing, Too". TechCrunch. 
  30. ^ Adrian Melrose. "Taxi Tech at Le Web London". [dead link]
  31. ^ "LeWeb London: Uber and Hailo". Licence to Roam. 
  32. ^ "Holson, Laura M. (Nov 21, 2014) To Delete or Not to Delete: That’s the Uber Question"
  33. ^ "Travis Kalanick | Chicago Ideas Week". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  34. ^ "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Is Going To Keep Up The Disruption At Disrupt SF". 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  35. ^ TechCocktail (2010-11-12). "‘Hustle Is The Antidote’ When Starting And Running A Business « Tech Cocktail". Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  36. ^ "LeWeb'11". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  37. ^ "Big Omaha - Travis Kalanick: 'Whatever it is that you're afraid of, go after it'". Silicon Prairie News. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  38. ^ Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 (2012-09-12). "CEO Travis Kalanick Says UberX Numbers Are "Probably At Or Above" Lyft". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  39. ^ "LeWeb 2010 – Money Roundtable, Moderated by Travis Kalanick, Entrepreneur & Angel Investor. | Startup Angel". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 

External links[edit]