A lawsuit claiming Uber co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick defrauded the company's investors was officially dismissed earlier this week, with a competent Delaware judge concluding the arbitration process nearly half a year after the litigation was initiated by Benchmark Capital. Both parties will pay their own arbitration costs and all claims related to the case have been pulled, said Judge Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Court of Chancery. Benchmark — one of Uber's first investors — sued Mr. Kalanick in August and insisted on a public trial but the 41-year-old managed to push the case into private arbitration by the end of the same month.
The company that was among the investors who demanded Mr. Kalanick resign from his CEO role in late June was already being pressured to drop the lawsuit by SoftBank, Uber's newest investor who recently purchased an approximately 15 percent stake in the firm. The Japanese tech giant insisted on guarantees that the matter will be settled outside of a courtroom before agreeing to invest more than $10 billion in the ride-hailing service provider, industry sources said last year. Benchmark originally claimed Mr. Kalanick broke his fiduciary duty to Uber's investors by adding three seats to its board in mid-2016 in an effort to maintain a tight grip on the world's most valuable startup at the expense of its backers. The entrepreneur's representatives deemed the lawsuit filled with "lies" and accused Benchmark of trying to destabilize the firm and gain more voting rights in the process of doing so. The power struggle lasted for months and continued after the appointment of Mr. Kalanick's successor, former head of travel service provider Expedia Dara Khosrowshahi.
With Benchmark's lawsuit now officially meeting its end and SoftBank's investment being completed as part of the largest private stock sale in the history of trading, Uber largely managed to stabilize, with its new CEO shifting his focus to damage control and repairing previously deteriorated relations with regulators around the world. The startup is presently targeting an initial public offering in 2019 and is aiming to become profitable within three years, according to Mr. Khosrowshahi's previous statements.