Travis Kalanik and the Rise of Uber

On this day, August 6 in the year 1976, the co-founder of Uber Technologies was born in Los Angeles, California, United States. His name is Travis Kalanik, the man who also founded the peer-to-peer file sharing firm Red Swoosh. According to, his net worth is $2.6 billion as of August, 2020.

Travis Kalanik
Travis Kalanik (credit: wiki commons)

Travis Kalanik grew up in Los Angeles, California. His father was a civil engineer while his mother worked in an advertising agency. He enrolled in computer engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1998, he dropped out of the university to help found Scour Inc. together with some friends. After it was sued for copyright infringement, the multimedia company declared bankruptcy.

In 2001, Travis co-founded Red Swoosh together with Michael Todd. In the early days of the new company, Travis endured three years of no salary and he had to move into his parents’ home. Then there was the government investigation about the company’s liability. One by one of its engineers were resigning and some investors wanted their money back. Fortunately, before the company would implode, Red swoosh was bought by Akamai for $23 million and Travis became a millionaire overnight. This gave him the opportunity to become an angel investor.

Travis went traveling around the world. In 2008, he attended a technology conference and heard about ride sharing. The following year, together with Garrett Camp, he established Uber Technologies with pilot operation in San Francisco. It rapidly expanded operations to include many cities in the US and in Paris, France. In 2010, he became CEO of the company. In 2017, he was forced to resign due to many complaints about his management style. At present, he serves as the CEO of City Storage Systems, a holding company focused on redeveloping distressed real estate.

Travis Kalanik is still single.


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