Amazon's Jeff Bezos has started buying news media: full memo
Amazon chief invests in Business Insider.
So it begins. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has made his first step into news media as the main contributor to a $5m investment in Business Insider.
He's done it under his own investment company, Bezos Expeditions - but as the FT points out Amazon itself has been increasing its digital production output for some time - via ebooks, tv and film productions, and the 1998 aquisition of IMBb.
Here's the memo from Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget:
I wanted to share the details of the financing we mentioned last night. (Apologies for not being able to share them then — closing these things is an administrative nightmare, and it took a few hours longer than we hoped).
I'm going to post about this shortly after 10 a.m. Please don't say anything or tweet about it until after the post hits.
Basically, Jeff Bezos is making a significant investment in the company. Our existing investors are also chipping in some more. In total, we're raising $5 million. This capital will allow us to continue to invest aggressively in many areas of the business, including editorial, tech/product, sales and marketing, subscriptions, and events. As we mentioned last night, it will also allow us to expand our office.
Jeff's investment grew out of a dinner he and I had about a year ago. We talked about the business, and he was excited about it. (He sees some parallels with Amazon). A few months later, he expressed an interest in investing. My reaction was basically "Hell, yeah!"
Jeff's vision, leadership, and philosophy at Amazon have inspired a whole generation of startups and entrepreneurs, including me. Amazon has always focused on customers first, knowing that, if they do a great job at that, everything else will take care of itself. This obsession with customers and long-term focus are the reasons that Amazon has been so successful. And this philosophy is something that we very much want to emulate. (We have two sets of customers, obviously — readers and sponsors. And we're obsessed with both).
Jeff's interest, and Business Insider's extraordinary success over the past year, are due to your efforts on behalf of our readers and our clients. We have improved and grown dramatically, and we were pretty good to begin with.
Our goal is simple: To become the best digital business publication on the planet. We're making great progress toward that. And this investment will help us get there.
Thank you again for your incredible work over the past year. Here's to an even better 2013.