Jeff Bezos’s $250 million buyout of the Washington Post, may be the Amazon founder and CEO’s first venture into old-school newsprint, but he’s certainly no stranger to tech and media investments.
Bezos has personally invested in 11 companies since he founded Amazon in 1994, according to CrunchBase, though there are several more companies he’s taken a financial interest in. Most recently he participated in business intelligence software startup Domo’s $60 million Series B round in March, and he took his first step into online journalism (though obviously not his last) with an investment in Business Insider.
Bezos was an early investor in 3D printer maker MakerBot (see disclosure), which just sold to Sratasys for more than $400 million. His Bezos Expeditions fund also famously made an early investment in Twitter.
But over the years he’s shown a particular affection for collaborative consumption companies. Bezos chipped in on Airbnb’s $112 million Series B in 2011 and on Uber’s $32 million funding tranche that same year. Back in 2006, he even invested in Linden Lab, the publisher of virtual world Second Life.
But his interests are really all over the map. Companies he’s invested in include: medical clinic group Qliance; educational software developer EverFi; Behance, a design-oriented online community acquired by Adobe last year; API marketplace Mashape; physician-booking portal ZocDoc; social search engine ChaCha; and Pelago, a local discovery startup founded by former Amazon execs and acquired by Groupon in 2011 (see disclosure).
All of those deals are tiny, though, compared to the quarter-billion Bezos just shelled out for the Washington Post.
Disclosures: 1) True Ventures is an investor in Makerbot and the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True. 2) The spouse of the author works at Groupon.