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Amazon’s Biggest Acquisitions

Published in 2013, Brad Stone’s book The Everything Store paints an ambitious and relentless portrait of Jeff Bezos, a man who is determined to create an online store that will someday be “everything to everyone”.

As prescient as this characterization was at the time, the narrative is even more relevant now – and with Amazon’s most recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, it’s clear that no market is safe from the sprawling Bezos Empire.

The Everything Store

Today’s infographic comes to us from CB Insights and it shows how Amazon’s strategy is unfolding, as well as which acquisitions are helping in the company’s quest to become the fabled “everything” store.

Amazon's Biggest Acquisitions

While buying Zappos ($1.2B), Twitch ($970M), and Kiva Systems ($775M) were all essential to Amazon’s strategy, the price paid for these companies is minuscule in comparison to the massive $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

Amazon’s Biggest Acquisitions

Here’s how each of these acquisitions is helping to fuel Amazon’s ambitions:

Whole Foods
Amazon’s boldest move yet, buying Whole Foods signals Amazon’s goal of becoming a transcendent brand that touches every aspect of daily life. Most people need to buy groceries every week – and that gives Amazon a new and more frequent window to interact with customers.

Zappos
Known for its obsessive customer service and company culture, Zappos was most likely bought by Amazon for its team.

Kiva Systems
Now re-branded as Amazon Robotics, this company specializes in manufacturing mobile robotic fulfillment systems for Amazon’s array of warehouses.

Elemental Technologies
Amazon’s AWS unit has integrated Elemental’s unique mobile video technology into its cloud infrastructure services.

Lovefilm
Thought as the “Netflix of Europe”, Lovefilm’s streaming services were re-branded as Amazon Prime Instant Video in 2014.

Souq.com
Amazon bought this Dubai-based retailer to improve its footprint in the Middle East – and to prevent global competitors like Alibaba and Flipkart from making inroads in the market.

Quidsi
Bought by Amazon in 2011, Quidsi ran six shopping sites, including Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com. After a brief stint at Amazon, Quidsi founder Marc Lore left to start Jet.com – which was sold to Walmart for $3.3 billion.

Audible
Owning the leader in audiobooks was a no-brainer for Amazon, and the Audible acquisition went down in 2008.

Annapurna Labs
This secretive Israeli semiconductor chip designer was snatched up by Amazon in 2015.

Twitch
Amazon bought Twitch, a video game live streaming company, in 2014 when the service was flush with 55 million subscribers. Today, Twitch.tv is the 40th most visited website worldwide, and is particularly known for its broadcasts of eSports competitions.

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