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Travis Cordell Kalanick

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Bonnie Renee Kalanick
Brother of Private

Occupation: Businessperson, founder of Uber
Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Travis Kalanick

Travis Cordell Kalanick (born August 6, 1976) is an American entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the peer-to-peer file sharing company Red Swoosh and the transportation network company Uber.

In 2014, he entered the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans at position 290, with an estimated net worth of $6 billion.

Early life and education

Kalanick was born on August 6, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. He lived in Northridge, California, where he graduated from Granada Hills High School and later enrolled in college at the University of California, Los Angeles, to study computer engineering. While at the University of California, Los Angeles he joined the Theta Xi Fraternity. His mother, Bonnie, worked in retail advertising for the Los Angeles Daily News, and his father, Donald, was a civil engineer for the city of Los Angeles. His father Donald E. Kalanick's family is Catholic with Czech and Austrian roots. Travis C. Kalanick was born to a Jewish mother (her maiden name is Horwitz) in Los Angeles. He has two half-sisters and his brother Cory is a firefighter.


In 1998, Travis Kalanick, along with other classmates, dropped out of UCLA to help found Scour Inc. with Dan Rodrigues, a multimedia search engine, and Scour Exchange, a Peer-to-peer file sharing service. In 2000, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) brought a lawsuit against Scour, alleging copyright infringement. In September of that year Scour filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from the lawsuit.

Red Swoosh

In 2001, with Scour's engineering team, Kalanick started a new company called Red Swoosh, another peer-to-peer file-sharing company. Red Swoosh software took advantage of increased bandwidth efficiency on the Internet to allow users to transfer and trade large media files, including music files and videos. In 2007, Akamai Technologies acquired the company for $19 million.


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 operates in 58 countries and in more than 300 cities around the world. Uber faced some controversy in some cities in North America, like Washington DC, Chicago, Toronto, and New York City. The company faces fierce competition from similar services and "clone companies" in cities like London. In November 2014, Kalanick faced criticism for creating a "win at all costs" culture in his Uber organization. Public relations problems the firm faced included Kalanick's comments to GQ about how easy it is for him to attract women now, concern about his blasé attitude regarding safety issues for female customers, and his tolerance of executive Emil Michael, who recommended creating a large budget to smear critics. While Kalanick apologized for Michael's remarks, he did not censure him severely enough to appease some critics.


He speaks at conferences and business events, including TechCrunch Disrupt, Tech Cocktail, DLD, and LeWeb.

Personal life

As of 2015, Kalanick is dating Gabi Holzwarth, whom he met at a party hosted by Shervin Pishevar. Holzwarth is a violinist, Huffington Post writer, and has worked as a product intern at Shyp. Holzwarth was discovered by Pishevar while she was playing the violin outside a Trader Joe's. Holzwarth credits her relationship with Kalanick, and his very supportive nature, with saving her life as she battled with anxiety and eating disorders. Holzwarth rose into the limelight when comedian T. J. Miller made disparaging jokes about her (including calling her a bitch) at the Crunchies Award ceremony in February 2015.

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Travis Kalanick's Timeline

August 6, 1976
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States