Amazon has spent billions of dollars over the years, from buying new products to integrating ideas to services like Amazon Drive, Audible, Amazon Prime, Kindle, A9 and many more — much like the river Amazon!
Before we dive into the list of companies acquired by Amazon, let’s put on our glasses and read some of Amazon’s interesting history.
History of Amazon!
Starting in 1995 as a website that only sold books, Jeff Bezos, the man behind the show, had the vision to build the brand that dominates the e-commerce market and takes Amazon to explosive heights! Jeff knew the only way to succeed was to dominate the online marketplace.
Amazon.com was first incorporated in July of 2005, at the time when Jeff was still a wall street hedge fund executive. The brand was originally called Cadabra, but the name was later changed because something related to magic sounded too obscure.
As mentioned, Amazon started its online retailer journey by selling books. At this time, only Amazon offered the level of convenience where the orders were delivered directly to the customer’s address – which was groundbreaking at that time.
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By 1998, the company expanded its product line to computer games and music. And by the turn of the millennium, they further expanded the lines to toys, home improvement items and much more.
By the mid-2000s, Amazon took off with Amazon Web Services and expanded its AWS portfolio with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Services (S3).
The company’s expansion into various digital services saw the unveiling of Kindle e-readers – Amazon’s return to the book market.
The Amazon Kindle entered the market in 2011. The low-cost handheld tablet had huge success in the book market, with Amazon announcing that its e-book sales were outselling traditional printed books.
Since then, Amazon has expanded its services to deliver products through drones, shipping fresh produce and much more innovative services which Jeff had only dreamed of in 1994.
Over these times, Amazon’s chequebook was wide open to bring in more talent and ideas, with more than 120 companies acquired by them to date.
We have compiled a list of some interesting acquisitions that led to Amazon’s exponential growth. See the infographic below.
Top 5 acquisitions by Amazon
1. Whole Foods
It has been nearly three years since amazon changed Whole Foods forever, with a whopping $13.7 billion acquisition. Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is famous for bringing organic food to the mainstream market. The company has marketed aggressively around the world, targetting mostly millennial shoppers. Amazon announced that they would be opening more Whole Foods stores to accelerate the full command over the Whole Foods brand.
In February 2018, Amazon acquired new eyes for $1 billion. The connected-camera doorbell company is now integrated with various Amazon services allowing live feeds on Amazon Echo and other new product opportunities. Ring has helped flesh out Amazon’s Key service, where users with Ring doorbells can choose to let people into their homes remotely.
Amazon acquiring Zappos has paved the way for delivering online apparel to customers faster than ever. Jeff Bezos selected the popular online apparel and footwear company for a reason – free shipping, competitive pricing, and no questions asked returns. Talk about outstanding customer service!
4. Pill Pack
Amazon acquired Pill Pack, a company that delivers medications by dose, right to the customer’s doorstep. It is estimated that, on average, an Amazon generates about $1,300 a year in revenue per Prime member, whereas a PillPack generates about $5,000 a year per user. A good step by Amazon to tie hands with a company that generates profit and addresses consumer-driven innovation in healthcare.
While people are howling about this $1 billion acquisition by Amazon, this seems to be a perfect tie for Amazon’s love for books. Amazon is supporting Goodreads with its resources to introduce more readers to the vibrant community by integrating Goodreads with Kindle.
- Amazon’s market value is greater than that of the 12 largest general retainers combined.
- According to these claims, Amazon’s fastest delivery may have been in just 23 minutes.
- Amazon’s retail store rivals include Walmart, Alibaba, Otto., Best Buy, and JD.
- A key strength of amazon is user-generated content like questions and answers and reviews on their product page.
Summing up, Amazon’s acquisitions were about investing in resources in order to grow faster and do an even better job than what they are already doing.
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