Travis Kalanick: 'I've never sold a single Uber share'

Uber CEO and cofounder Travis Kalanick has amassed a huge net worth thanks to the success of the ride-hailing company, now valued at $68 billion.

But Kalanick says he’s not living the high life just yet. In fact, he says he has yet to cash out or take anything off the table.

“A lot of people don’t know, I’ve never sold a single Uber share,” Kalanick told the crowd at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Wednesday.

He noted that he is still paying the mortgage on his house.

Driver payouts

Kalanick shared some stats about the ride-hailing company while on stage.

Uber now has 40 million monthly active paying riders around the world, and that it pays its drivers between $1.5 billion and $2 billion each month, according to Kalanick.

Kalanick also defended Uber’s deal with Chinese rival Didi, in which the company merged its Chinese operations with Didi in exchange for a 20% stake in the company.

“We invested $2 billion, and it’s very clear it’s worth at least 7, maybe even 10…that’s a good return in 2 years’ time,” Kalanick said.

He acknowledged the difficulty of learning business in China, where the government is actively involved in business. “You have to be humble,” he said, and almost learn how to be Chinese, or “you’ll get your arse handed to you.”

Some of the conversation focused on Uber’s new push into self-driving cars, and it sounds as if Uber is still figuring out how they will operate. For instance, in response to a question about how a rider would take the wheel in case of a navigation system failure, Kalanick said “Who says there’ll be a wheel?” Similarly, he hinted that Uber isn’t planning to own and operate the fleet of self-driving cars, but would probably lease or sell them to drivers, as it leases regular cars to drivers today.

Kalanick also said that he no longer has a working car — his car’s in the garage with a broken alternator — and an expired driver’s licence.

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