Jeff Bezos’ Other Personal Investments: An Apparent Success Story

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Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos’ $250 million personal purchase of the Washington Post newspaper, revealed on Monday, is merely the latest in a whole canon of personal investments the Amazon.com CEO has made over the past decade.

Billionaire Bezos’ personal investment fund, Bezos Expeditions, lists at least 29 different "select investments" on its website, in addition to personal and philanthropic ventures.

According to tech business data platform CrunchBase, large investment rounds involving Bezos Expeditions include an $85 million investment into cloud business software company Workday Inc. (NYSE:WDAY) and a $60 million investment into Domo Inc., another cloud software firm.

Since the breakdown of individual-investor contributions to a financing round is usually private, the exact amount Bezos Expeditions invested in these companies is unavailable.

The fund didn’t return a request for comment from International Business Times.  

Other well-known investments coming from Bezos’ personal wealth, estimated at $25 billion by Forbes, include business-news website Business Insider and Twitter, as well as the Brooklyn 3D printing company MakerBot Industries.

Bezos, 49, and Business Insider founder Henry Blodget have a longtime personal and professional relationship, AllThingsD reported in April 2013, with Bezos personally leading a $5 million investment round into Business Insider in April 2013.

Blodget wrote at the time that he’d been inspired by Bezos’ business leadership and philosophy, and had always admired Amazon and Bezos.

Bezo Expeditions' focus seems to center around tech and software startups, often based in Silicon Valley.

Former employees of the fund, including former chief investment officer Stephen Campbell, didn’t return requests for comment from IBTimes.

But by and large, the businesses Bezos has invested in appear to have done fairly well in recent years.

Workday went public shortly after the aforementioned financing round, in an October 2012 offering that captured $684 million. The company reported a revenue bump of 61 percent for its latest fiscal quarter, even though it also had an operating loss of $32.6 million, up significantly from the year before.  

It boasts more than 230 companies for clients, which translates into more than 2 million individual users. A Workday spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Julie Kehoe, a spokesman for Domo, declined to say how much Bezos Expeditions had invested in the company but said that Bezos still holds a stake in the private company.

It’s unclear how personally involved Bezos was in the selection of Domo, and whether he now advises the firm in a formal or informal capacity. Kehoe declined to comment on that.

But not all of Bezos’ investments are success stories. His early investments in Pets.com in 1999 and a $60 million investment in delivery scheme Kozmo.com didn’t keep those companies from shutting down, reports the Washington Post.

Some of Bezos’ seemingly more bizarre and speculative investments include his attempt to build a clock that will last and tell time for 10,000 years, in a West Texas mountain, and to retrieve F-1 engines involved in space missions from the ocean floor.

He has also invested in Airbnb, Inc., the online accommodation platform, and Blue Origin, a startup working towards affordable space travel.

Visit CrunchBase to see the other financing rounds Bezos Expeditions has participated in. 

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