In what had to be a terrifyingly strange and stressful trial for Travis Kalanick, the Uber CEO took almost twelve days before raising a ten figure funding round in the year 2016.
And to ensure that he didn't have to go through that kind of nightmare again, Travis moved very quickly in February to keep things rolling.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment vehicle LetterOne invested $200 million in Uber Technologies Inc., betting in ride-hailing technology after selling billions of dollars worth of oil assets.
By sprinkling a little Russian oligarch cash over his $9 billion in raised capital so far, Travis can ease off the throttle a bit and do stuff like give back to the community. And Travis did just that yesterday when he stopped by a Vancouver incubator to give advice to budding tech entrepreneurs.
According to BetaKit, Travis spoke to "A select audience of more than 50 entrepreneurs, technology experts, founders and funders." He covered a variety of topics and then turned to the issue of raising money...
Kalanick cautioned against what he called “irrational funding going on.”
While it's not clear from BetaKit's reporting if Kalanick offered this bon mot while playing a one-man game of Jenga with bricks of $100 dollar bills - or if the inexplicable sound of record scratch echoed around the room when he said it - we do know that Travis elaborated on his thought...
“You can get your butt kicked by others who are raising more money and buying market share,” he said. “So you have to find a way to contain the irrational when it’s happening.”
So how does Travis Kalanick justify being that other guy who is raising more money while also containing the kind of irrational funding most closely associated with Travis Kalanick?
By pivoting to his favorite obtuse defense: "Global domination ain't cheap."
"We’re profitable in the USA, but we’re losing over $1 billion a year in China. We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share. I wish the world wasn’t that way. I prefer building rather than fundraising. But if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share.”
So, what Travis meant to say is that the current funding environment is irrational for everyone else, but not him.
Sounds like someone is already working on a tight little March round.