E-commerce powerhouse Amazon (AMZN) is the largest online retailer in the world. The Seattle-based company on Friday celebrated its 25th birthday and has had an interesting rise to the top.

Who founded Amazon and how did the company get its start? 

Amazon was founded on June 5, 1994, by Jeff Bezos, who remains the CEO of the company. The original name of the company was Cadabra, Inc. but was changed because it sounded too similar to the word "cadaver." Bezos changed the name to Amazon, a reference to the Amazon river, which is the longest in the world.

The company got its start in Bezos' garage, where it primarily sold books.

When did Amazon take off and become popular as a company? 

As Amazon took off, Bezos expanded the company’s goods from not just books but also software, music and kitchen utensils. This company in 1999 became the largest e-sales platform in the world. It would later agree to many partnerships with notable companies such as Toys "R" Us in 2000 and Nike in 2017. 

When did Amazon become the biggest online sales company in the world?

In 2018, Amazon became the largest online sales company in the world, with $524 billion in online sales. This figure puts Amazon at 45% of the entire e-commerce industry with competitors eBay (6.8%) and Walmart (4%) struggling to keep up.  

Amazon's recent success was buoyed by its acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017 for over $13 billion.

Other than online shopping, what services does Amazon offer?

Amazon offers its prime service, which not only allows customers to be delivered goods in one day, but also allows access to television shows and movies as a part of its Amazon Prime Video service. Bezos in 2018 announced that Amazon Prime surpassed 100 million subscribers worldwide.

Another unique service is its Alexa voice assistant, which allows users to order food, get weather information and make commands just with their voice.

What's the top selling product on Amazon in 2019?

According to Amazon's website, the top-selling good this year is its Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers, which make use of the company's Alexa voice assistant. In January it was reported that more than 100 million devices with Alexa on board had been sold. 

How many people are employed at Amazon?

The company announced in October 2018 that it has 613,000 global employees. On a recent episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," the program spotlighted the seemingly poor labor standards in the warehousing industry.

What is Amazon's market capitalization?

Amazon is worth roughly $956.6 billion. Shares of Amazon are trading at $1,942.91. Five years ago at this time, shares of Amazon were trading at $333.55.