- Uber co-founder’s newest startup received $400 million from Saudia Arabia’s PIF 11 months ago.
- PIF’s investment in Uber is over $1 billion in the red since the IPO.
- The report comes just over a year since the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Despite Uber’s poor showing, Saudi Arabia’s appetite for investing in U.S. startups shows no signs of waning with the country now adding a kitchen rental startup to its portfolio. This is despite the negative press the country received following the murder of Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) invested $400 million in CloudKitchens in January. This makes the kitchen rental startup, which was formed by Uber founder Travis Kalanick, the earliest beneficiary of the cash-flush fund following the Khashoggi killing.
The startup is currently valued at around $5 billion. PIF’s investment in CloudKitchens now exceeds what Kalanick himself has put in ($300 million).
Does PIF’s investment in CloudKitchens signal confidence in Travis Kalanick?
This is not the first investment Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in a firm co-founded by Kalanick. In June 2016, PIF invested $3.5 billion in Uber giving the sovereign wealth fund a stake of over 70 million shares.
With Uber having reported a quarterly loss of over $1 billion earlier this month and with the lock-up period having expired, the stock has now lost around 40% of its value. At the current stock price of $26.92, PIF’s stake in Uber is worth approximately $1.96 billion.
Uber stock price chart. | Source: TradingView
Within three years, PIF’s investment in Uber has fallen by over $1.5 billion.