It turns out, Amazon owns a surprising amount of companies. Amazon started as an online bookseller in the early 1990s. The company had its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on May 15, 1997, with shares selling for $18 that valued the company at $438 million. Since then, they’ve expanded to sell almost everything for everybody. The company is now worth $859 billion with shares selling for over $1,800 apiece. Because of share splits (giving investors more shares), $1,000 invested in Amazon’s IPO is worth well over $1 million now.
How did Amazon become the retail juggernaut worth 1,961 times the company’s value since the IPO in 1997? They did this by expanding at a frenetic pace by acquiring companies and launching new brands. The new brands were bought or launched—sometimes without much fanfare just to grab market share in a wide variety of items. The idea was not just to sell stuff for other people, but also to own some of the brands. And it worked.
Business Insider reports that Amazon offers geeky things like software as a service (SaaS) in the cloud through Amazon Drive, Double Helix Games, and Twitch. They also have a complete line of low-cost high-quality over-the-counter medicines marketed as the Basic+Care brand. On top of all that, they own Audible, their own audiobook service and AbeBooks who sells rare printed books.
For makeup, Amazon owns Beauty Bar while Solimo makes deeply-discounted personal care items, exclusively for Amazon Prime members that pay a yearly annual membership. Women’s clothes are made by Ella Moon, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, and North Eleven. Men’s shirts are made by Buttoned Down and men’s clothes by Goodthreads. Men’s shoes are made by Franklin & Freeman, but they also own Zappos who sell shoes as well. If that wasn’t enough, kids clothing is offered by Scout +Ro brand.