Former Uber chief Travis Kalanick strikes back at Benchmark Capital

Former Uber CEO Kalanick says investor lawsuit is a 'public and personal attack'

Benchmark was an early Uber investor.

Kalanick resigned as CEO in late July, after a number of scandals blew up around the company, but still sits on Uber's board.

A United States appeals court on Thursday ruled in favor of Uber Technologies Inc in a closely watched lawsuit over whether passengers gave up their right to sue the ride-sharing company when they registered for its service.

"They threatened to launch a public campaign against him if he refused", the filing reads.

Less than two weeks after his mother's funeral in June, Kalanick said Benchmark principals came to his hotel room in Chicago and handed him a draft resignation letter, telling him "he had hours to sign it".

Kalanick's representative has said the suit is "without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations".

Kalanick described Benchmark's claims of fraud as a "fabrication articulated for the first time in its complaint".

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But his filing said that, at the time of the change, "Benchmark was fully aware of all of the allegations". Benchmark did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.

"Benchmark's fraud claim is premised on the assertion that, in or about 2016, Kalanick somehow determined that he would be forced into resigning as CEO approximately a year later - and that he therefore fraudulently induced all of the stockholders to enter into the amended Voting Agreement to preserver his role in the company".

The filing said: "Benchmark Capital Partners initiated this action as part of its public and personal attack on Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber". "What changed in the interim is a matter known only to Benchmark". Benchmark has seen its 2011 investment of $12 million in Uber grow into a stake now worth more than $7 billion, based on recent valuations of the company.

As to Benchmark wanting to take away his power, Kalanick argues that it's not reasonable on multiple counts. "To the contrary, Benchmark ignores the arbitration provision and seeks drastic relief that would silence and sideline Kalanick - essentially the final relief it hopes to achieve".

The appeals court returned the case to US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan to decide whether Uber, by having litigated the case in his court, waived its right to arbitrate.

Kalanick filed his first legal response to the lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery on Thursday night, further escalating the contentious and unusual lawsuit between the ride-hailing giant worth almost $70 billion, and the investor poised to rake in billions from its IPO or sale.

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