Travis Kalanick cooks up a real estate empire

Uber co-founder is betting big on the ghost kitchen business with $130M investment

National /
Oct.October 20, 2020 03:30 PM
Travis Kalanick (Getty; iStock)

Travis Kalanick (Getty; iStock)

Uber co-founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick has quietly amassed a real estate empire over the past two years.

Companies tied to Kalanick’s CloudKitchens, a startup that rents available space to food delivery businesses, have snapped up more than 40 properties across the country for more than $130 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Kalanick’s assets include closed restaurants, auto-body shops and warehouses in cities like Las Vegas, Nashville, and Portland, Oregon.

CloudKitchens is a “ghost kitchen” operation, which rents out non-traditional spaces to businesses that want to do food delivery without owning or leasing a restaurant space of their own. It’s similar to co-working or co-living, where companies can work with landlords on flexible terms at cheaper prices.

Reef Technology and Kitchen United, which are backed by SoftBank Group, are also emerging players in the ghost kitchen space.

Companies tied to CloudKitchens bought a vacant space in Miami Beach in May and paid $6.6 million for an industrial property in Queens in March, according to the Journal. (New York’s City Council has debated more oversight of these businesses.)

CloudKitchens raised $400 million from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund. The company’s acquisitions have been financed by Goldman Sachs with loans.

[WSJ] — Keith Larsen


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