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Startups Uber/Lyft

Travis Kalanick Buys a Friend’s Startup, Is CEO Again

The ex-CEO of Uber is starting small as he gets back into operating a business. He said on Twitter he’s spending $150 million from his new investment fund to buy a company with a boring name, City Storage Systems, that buys distressed real estate and attempts to make it valuable. What Kalanick didn’t say was that CSS was owned by one of his best friends, Diego Berdakin, an entrepreneur and professor at USC, and the startup had taken money from Sky Dayton, founder of Internet companies Earthlink and Boingo, according to a person familiar with the investment. There’s a loose connection to Uber. One way CSS wants to rehabilitate property is by letting people use create kitchens that make food for delivery, as opposed to a traditional restaurant that wants foot traffic, known as “CloudKitchens.” Uber’s hot food delivery service, called UberEats, has helped create a market for this type of kitchen, which can cost a lot less money to operate than a traditional one. CloudKitchens started in Los Angeles but plans to expand to San Francisco and New York soon, according to its website.

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