In 1998, Travis Kalanick dropped out of UCLA with some of his classmates to found Scour Inc., a multi-media search engine, and Scour Exchange. In 2000, three major motion picture and recording companies brought a lawsuit against Scour, alleging copyright infringement. In September of that year Scour filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from the $250 billion lawsuit
How typical of Kalanick that he considered himself the victim and launched his next project out of revenge. In 2009, along with Garrett Camp, , Kalanick founded Uber, a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services.
Uber spend a fortune on PR and lobbyists. That way they can whitewash the sordid reality of how their company really operates. An article by BBC News had this to say.
“His (Travis) firm has been criticised for what some have described as aggressive business practices in cities around the world.
“That’s just simply not the case,” he said. “We have worked with regulators.”
This is a total lie. In London, Kalanick has smoozed George Osborne so successfully, Uber is exempt from all regulations while Osbo allows TfL to licence Uber cabs at a rate of 700 a week, presumably to push the competition off the road.
Uber’s estimated $50 billion valuation is based on its ability to pocket 25 percent of drivers’ fares while landing them with almost all the expenses of providing service and controlling the terms of their work.
Drivers pay for their own petrol, vehicle acquisition, maintenance and much of their insurance. They should be paying for safety checks, and medical reports, but many avoid the net, resulting in rapes and assaults. Hey, there is always an Uber lobbyist to distort the facts and pacify the public.
Many drivers earn below the minimum wage and sleep in their cabs, relying on tax credits for survival. The callous, inhumane way Uber treats their drivers is described here.
Soon Uber will have to pay the congestion charge of £11.50 a day, as well as new regulations, explained here. It’s hard to see how the most desperate drivers can possibly survive. Travis Kalanick calls himself an entrepreneur but that’s not true either. He is morally bankrupt, devoid of humanity. Two centuries ago, he would have sailed the high seas as a slave trader.
Because Travis Kalanick has one rule of business. Prey on the totally vulnerable. Immigrants, refugees, people so desperate they have no alternative but to drive for him. Then squeeze them financially to the max, while avoiding all responsibility, both for those drivers, and for customer safety.
The multi billion profit? It’s all for him, he wants it all, and he will bleed his contractors dry until there is nothing, absolutely nothing, left.