Voot based drama series Super Pumped: The battle for Uber narrates the true story of the rise and fall of Uber Founder, Travis Kalanick. In episode 3, Travis tries to make an example out of someone to stop drivers from jumping.
The episode starts with Travis Kalanick with Bill and his lieutenants sitting in what he calls, ‘the war room.’ Kalanick quotes Bobby Knight and proclaims how he identifies with Al Capone from The Untouchables.
He looks mad that some customers and drivers like Lyft, a company that offers similar services like Uber, are better than Uber itself. He suggests buying the company but others disagree with him. Bill suggests he focus on Uber instead and build his own company instead of paying heed to Lyft.
He compares Uber to Apple when they were in their initial stage and competing against Google. He says he wants to make an example out of someone to create an example for others.
Bill looks horrified and asks if he is suggesting that he wants to beat drivers into submission. To which Kalanick ominously replies that he just wants to win. He says that dishonesty needs to be punished.
The scene changes and Kalanick is having dinner with Gabi. They talk and flirt with each other. They go to his house and share a kiss.
The next day, Kalanick returns to the office. There’s a hustle there for the so-called war against Lyft. They step up their surveillance of their drivers. They want to track all their drivers who are using Lyft services too.
They turn on the mic and camera of driver’s phones so that they can track which customers are using Lyft too and who their loyalty lies with.
Scene changes to Austin Geidt, hitching a Lyft cab. She tries to make small conversations with the driver. She tells him that Uber has some excellent incentives coming up. He signs up with Uber and leaves Lyft.
Back at the office, one of the employees suggests initiating a law that prohibits Uber workers from using any other cab services.
Bill suggests that they raise money for Uber again. Kalanick isn’t happy with this suggestion and says he won’t be begging for money as they are making enough. Bill tells him that some big names are on the list, but Kalanick just wants Google Ventures.
Bill suggests that it isn’t a good idea because Google will bigfoot and lowball their company. With some argument and persuasion, Kalanick agrees to do a roadshow,
At home, Gabi gifts Kalanick a pair of shoes. They share a passionate moment. She goes to bed and he is seen looking at some polaroids. They are of his ex. He decides to video call her. He tells her that she has left some photos at his home and can come and get it if she wants.
She declines and tells him to keep the photos. He shares his plan with roadshow with her. He says that he probably won’t do it. She convinces him to do it because it is the right thing to do with the company. The call ends with a fight between them.
The next day, Kalanick is out with Bill for the roadshow. There are members of Infobys, too. They look nervous about this round.
Kalanick is annoyed by this and goes for a walk. He stumbles across Zimmerman. Zimmerman wishes him luck for his round.
They go for the round. Kalanick gets angry and tells them that they can either invest in Uber or Lyft. They can’t choose both. They leave the conference room.
Bill looks mad that Kalanick cancelled the roadshow. Kalanick says that people should approach him to invest in his company and not the other way around. He calls it a home show.
Bill says that starving his own company is not insurgence, just a temper tantrum. He gives an example of Gandhi.
Kalanick decides that they’ll have two options with their cab service now. Cool and luxurious ones which will cause more money and other services for cheaper rates. He decides to call it Uber X. Bill informs him that he hears rumours that Google Ventures are present in mixers round. Kalanick just smirks and says he is not responsible for every rumour.
Kalanick is presenting when he is informed that David Drummond, Google’s top lawyer, Larry and Siege’s business brain and Head of Google Ventures, has come to meet him. He calls Drummond a big deal.
Drummond is here to confront Kalanick for spreading rumours about them. Kalanick impresses him with his quirk and gets invited for a breakfast meeting. Kalanick demands that he wants Larry Page there.
The scene changes to meet and Kalanick is pitching to the two Google employees. Page looks reluctant to invest because Uber is still in its investing stage. The meeting does not end well. Kalanick makes a deal with Drummond. Kalanick wants an investment of a quarter-billion but Drummond tells him that Google only invests within 100 million.
The top office looks mad at his decision. He tells them they can end game Lyft, stop paying their drivers incentive and get money from Google.
Bill enters the office and looks extremely mad. He informs Kalanick that Drummond called him. He continues that whenever Kalanick messes up, it’s him that has cleaned it up. He finally breaks and tells him they’ve managed to get the cash.
They plan on buying Lyft and going ahead with their plan. They have a meeting with Lyft founders and discuss their equity. Kalanick taunts Zimmerman about their failing profit. Zimmerman calls him a predatory animal and walks out of the office, promising that he won’t be backing out of the industry.
The episode ends with Zimmerman approaching Bill. Bill apologizes to him. Zimmerman questions why he is riding with an impulsive guy like Kalanick. Bill continues to defend Kalanick. Zimmerman says that Bill is encouraging Kalanick’s violent behaviour.
Bill leaves while offering to help Zimmerman with funding for his current round. Zimmerman says that he used to consider him one of the good ones, but he is just like others. Bill looks troubled.
- The episode was moving and kept the audience engaged at all times. The fast-paced scenes were accompanied by appropriate music tracks that kept the thrill intact.
- The viewers get to witness Kalanick’s impulsive, arrogant nature. The beginning of the episode also hints at how his ego might lead to his downfall.
- The episode ends with Bill starting to lose faith in Kalanick, implying that the fourth episode will be uncovering another obstacle, which will come in the face of the fight between the two.