The sovereign-wealth fund of Saudi Arabia has recently made a major investment into CloudKitchens.
CloudKitchens was founded by Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber. Kalanick had strong insight into the food delivery industry while working at Uber which led to the development of this company. CloudKitchens purchases cheap real estate in major cities and rents out kitchen space to restaurants who need “ghost kitchens” to keep up with the demand sparked by online delivery orders.
The investment is meant to portray confidence that the food-delivery industry will continue its boom. The food prepared in these “ghost kitchens’ are exclusively made for orders placed through food delivery services such as Grubhub or DoorDash.
The fund invested $400 million into the company. This latest investment could value the company at around $5 billion. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund was also an early investor at Uber.
Kalanick was pushed out as CEO after scandals on the company’s work culture sprung up. Cloud Kitchen’s has been funded with $300 million of his own money. This recent investment from the sovereign-wealth fund was heavily guarded which is atypical. Usually investments into start-ups come from venture-capital funds and the nature of those investments are public.