Microsoft Invests in Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens

Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick on Stephen Colbert

Travis Kalanick may be the embattled former head of Uber, but the man still has his believers. One is the company Microsoft which invested in his startup CloudKitchens. Microsoft was one of a number of investors in an $850 million fundraising round – in debt and equity – in November 2021 that left the company with a $15 billion valuation.

CloudKitchens provides infrastructure and software that enables food operators to open delivery-only locations with minimal capital expenditure and time. The company also rents out surplus space in restaurants to store convenience goods, such as pet food or over-the-counter medicine.

And according to a report in Financial Times, CloudKitchens exploded in operations since the raise, with rapid global growth. The company now has more than 4,000 employees across the US, Latin America, the UK, and the Middle East.

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But while Microsoft may be high on CloudKitchens, some of its current employees say that the company has the same toxic workplace that Uber had under Travis Kalanick’s leadership.

“If they want to be a successful company, there needs to be a very big cultural change. People need to be valued as people within the company,” an anonymous source told Financial Times.

And another source described as someone who had worked at a senior level at Uber and then also worked at CloudKitchens said described the company as “the most toxic place I’ve ever seen or experienced.”

Travis Kalanick stepped down as the head of Uber in 2017 after he was accused of doing nothing about alleged sexual harassment at the company. At the time he stated, “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”