Boasting an expansive portfolio and a comprehensive business model, Amazon is one of the world’s largest companies with a formidable foothold in e-commerce, streaming media, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. As part of its business strategy, it has assembled an impressive collection of subsidiaries covering multiple industries and countries worldwide. Among its over 40 subsidiaries, some of Amazon’s most outstanding enterprises include Whole Foods Market, Twitch Interactive, Souq, Zoox, Audible, AbeBooks, ComiXology, Woot!, and IMDb.
Whole Foods Market
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Austin, TX, Whole Foods Market is an American grocery chain specializing in organic and natural products. In 2017, Amazon purchased Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 billion — marking the e-commerce giant’s foray into the world of brick-and-mortar retailing. Since then, Whole Foods has been at the forefront of Amazon’s continuous expansion across the U.S. and abroad. The retailer offers customers premium quality produce, plant-based foods, seafood, and meat, as well as ready meals, with a commitment to nutrition excellence and sustainability. Additionally, online ordering services are available for those who prefer to shop from home or abroad.
Twitch Interactive, an American video game streaming platform owned by Amazon and co-founded in 2011 by Kevin Lin, the company’s COO, was acquired by the e-commerce giant for an impressive reported sum of $970 million in 2014. The resulting deal value exceeded $1 billion due to some retention agreements; this was one of the most profitable deals of its kind at the time.
The online streaming service has become an enormous success since its acquisition, becoming a major player in both esports and video game culture, with 64,588,418 shares owned by Jeff Bezos alone. The platform allows gamers to stream live gameplay while simultaneously interacting with viewers within a chat window, creating an engaging community atmosphere around games.
Twitch offers several ways that users can monetize their content, including advertising revenue, Bits (a virtual currency used to reward streamers), and subscriptions, through which users gain access to premium features such as emote icons or exclusive rewards customized for each channel. This helps incentivize gamers to create high-quality content on the site, further driving user engagement and growth.
In recent years, Twitch has become much more than just a streaming service. They have started hosting their own events, such as the TwitchCon, which feature popular gaming personalities from all around the world doing what they do best — namely, playing video games and interacting with fans! This event not only serves as great advertising for their service, but is another way for them to build up relationships within their vast user base, providing various rewards and unique experiences along the way.
Souq.com was an e-commerce platform founded by Ronaldo Mouchawar in 2005. It was the leading e-commerce site in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The concept of Souq first began when Mouchawar joined the online portal Maktoob, which did not require consumers to be fluent in English, as other portals available at the time were mostly dominated by English language users.
In May 2017, Amazon acquired Souq.com for a reported $580 million, making them one of the tech giant’s first Middle Eastern startups. As part of the acquisition, Amazon integrated much of Souq’s infrastructure into their own operations, creating a stronger presence in MENA’s online market space as well as offering customers more purchasing options through their platform.
Since then, Souq has become a subsidiary company under Amazon Inc., with many facets to its business, such as Fulfillment by Souq, which is Amazon’s delivery service provider throughout MENA, and also Payfort, which is a payment processor that allows customers to make payments via credit cards or other digital payment services.
Zoox is a self-driving technology company owned by Amazon that creates autonomous vehicles, or “robotaxis,” without steering wheels or pedals. These machines are capable of carrying up to four passengers. The name “Zoox” is a reference to Zooxanthellae, an organism in the ocean that uses renewable energy and lives in symbiosis with its environment.
In 2020, Amazon purchased Zoox as a means of automating its delivery fleet. This acquisition gave Amazon access to key technologies such as vehicle design and software engineering expertise from the startup’s founders and employees.
Under CEO Aicha Evans, Zoox has continued work on its autonomous car platform, recently becoming the first company ever to receive Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards certification for its purpose-built electric passenger vehicle, allowing it access to public roads.
To further strengthen its technology stack, Zoox also acquired Strio.AI on March 8, 2022, a San Francisco-based machine learning startup focused on building advanced perception algorithms that enable more efficient operations of autonomous systems in dynamic environments like cities. Additionally, this integration provides business intelligence capabilities that enable better decision-making at scale and improve operational efficiency when deploying fleets of robots into real-world contexts
As part of its mission to provide safer, accessible transportation solutions for all people — both riders and drivers alike — Zoox continues to develop new technologies that will make autonomous vehicles accessible on public roads across the U.S.
Audible is an audiobook service from Amazon that provides the largest selection of titles, ranging from books to new releases and its own podcasts. Since its purchase by Amazon in 2008 for $300 million, it has been a popular way for people to listen to their favorite materials without having to read them physically.
Audible’s business model includes subscription services where users can access an unlimited number of titles for a monthly fee, one-time purchases, and credits that can be used to buy downloads from their online store.
Audible provides access to over 200,000 audiobooks, spoken word programs from top authors and celebrities, and documentaries and Audible Originals. Listeners can enjoy content in a range of genres, including non-fiction, business & finance, science fiction & fantasy, romance novels, classics & literary fiction, children’s books, and health & fitness guides. Subscribers gain exclusive access to content unavailable elsewhere, such as on Audible Channels, which feature a range of free short stories, lectures, comedy shows, and more.
AbeBooks is an international e-commerce website that provides customers with a wealth of books, fine art, and collectibles. Established in 1996 and focused on used, rare, and out-of-print materials, AbeBooks operates seven global marketplaces through which it connects buyers to millions of titles from thousands of independent booksellers. In 2008, AbeBooks was acquired by Amazon, cementing its position as one of the world’s most popular online book retailers.
Since becoming part of Amazon’s family, AbeBooks has continued to offer its customers a vast selection of titles, from new books to collectibles that date back centuries, all from third-party sellers who post their items on the marketplace for buyers to find. These sellers typically include individuals as well as bookstores that might be looking for better sources of inventory at more competitive prices than what they can find locally or through traditional distribution channels.
ComiXology is an online marketplace for digital comics, manga, and graphic novels. It was first launched in 2007 before being acquired by Amazon in 2014. ComiXology offers a wide range of digital comics from some of the “Big 3” publishers in comics — DC, Marvel, and Image — as well as independent creators. Its platform allows readers to easily purchase individual issues or collections and read them on any device.
The integration of ComiXology with Amazon created a wider audience reach for the digital comic market, but also brought changes that have had both positive and negative effects on it. One intention was to bring ComiXology into closer line with the larger Amazon infrastructure, but it ended up restructuring the entire digital comics ecosystem instead.
In 2021, Amazon revealed plans to transition Comixology.com into its Kindle department; however, following customer feedback regarding this significant change, they decided to postpone integration until 2022.
The move away from Comixology’s own web presence may end up being beneficial if it allows Amazon to take advantage of some benefits that come with integrating more closely within its own network. However, only time will tell if these advantages ultimately outweigh any potential negatives that come from outsiders losing access or control over how they consume their beloved mediums
The simplicity of Woot’s model is its main strength. Whereas other brands attempt to offer a wide variety of products, Woot started off by honing in on one focus: offering just one product each day at a discounted price. This allowed the company to keep costs down, meaning that their daily deals could be incredibly cheap for shoppers who take advantage of the offers. In addition, the limited-time aspect adds an element of excitement and scarcity that encourages customers to act quickly if they want to get their hands on any particular product.
Though it started out solely as an electronics retailer, since Amazon purchased Woot in 2010, it has expanded into numerous other categories. These days, you can find everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and kitchen appliances in their daily sales section. Customers can also search through regular products sold on the site, such as everyday essentials like laundry detergent or pet food delivered directly from Amazon’s warehouses.
As a wholly owned division of Amazon.com, IMDb’s head office is in Seattle; however, Col Needham (the company founder and CEO) still resides at their original base in Bristol, England, where the website was first established. IMDb stands for “Internet Movie Database” and was launched by software engineer and avid film enthusiast Needham in 1990 as his own personal project. It quickly grew into a full-fledged website where anyone could access information about films or TV programs, including their casts and crew members.
The main source of income for IMDb is advertising revenue from its website. Advertisements are placed throughout the site, specifically targeting audiences that are most likely to be interested in certain films or television programs, as well as various services related to them. This model makes it possible for IMDb to generate enough income to sustain operations while also providing users with an influx of useful content and information related to movies and TV shows they may want to watch. The company has seen success with this model over the years since it was acquired by Amazon in 1998 while only having 16 employees at the time; today, it employs around 984 people globally.
More recent Amazon subsidiaries
One Medical is a membership-based primary care organization recently acquired by Amazon, Inc. for $3.9 billion. Founded in 2007 by physician Tom Lee, One Medical has grown from a single San Francisco clinic to 188 offices in 29 markets and 3,090 employees across the United States. Amir Dan Rubin currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of One Medical, and has also been a member and chair of their board of directors since August 2017.
Members who join the company can access personal medical coverage that includes comprehensive health plans and benefits such as scheduling services online with same-day appointments; routine preventive screenings; lab testing; behavioral health support; specialty care, including physical therapy and vision care; free medication delivery; patient education materials; drug pricing tools; discounts on preventive medications; and more. Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical enables customers to conveniently access care through their providers, obtain prescribed medications online, and procure all necessary health-related retail products in one convenient location.
In 2021, shortly before Amazon’s acquisition was announced, One Medical acquired Iora Health, which further integrated healthcare services into its already comprehensive offerings, like digital checkups via video chat or phone calls, as well as full medical records available on its app platform.
On top of these advancements made prior to Amazon’s acquisition announcement, it appears that Amazon intends to continue investing heavily in advancing much-needed innovation within the healthcare system through One Medical — resulting in higher quality outcomes at lower costs and doing more good for both individuals seeking reliable medical resources, as well as employers looking to reduce healthcare costs associated with employee benefits packages without cutting corners on quality service offerings or endangering their workforce’s overall wellbeing.
The purchase of iRobot by Amazon in August 2022 demonstrated the company’s dedication to owning the smart home device market. The acquisition was an all-cash deal, with Amazon offering $61 per share to iRobot shareholders. Upon completion, the transaction helped expand Amazon’s presence and dominance in the market for consumer robotics. With this acquisition, Amazon maximized its current cross-activity network effects from consumers who have connected more than 300 million devices, such as lights, curtains, and vacuums, to Alexa. From a financial standpoint, iRobot struggled when Amazon made the offer: their net profit margin registered -18.24% as of September 2022, before the merger agreement was finalized.
Owning a stake in iRobot places Amazon in new markets with potential for revenue generation that could be leveraged over time; however, privacy advocates worry that this same technology could be manipulated or used against individuals’ best interests by monitoring personal data within homes and even private lives unknowingly. As part of its promise to customers following the completion of the transaction, Amazon pledges not to misuse any data collected through its use of Roomba vacuums or any other products developed by iRobot moving forward. This understanding provides some assurance that trust remains a top priority for both companies going forward, despite worries in some circles about its implications for people’s privacy rights.
Which companies are owned by Amazon?
Amazon is an e-commerce giant with a massive presence and influence around the world. The company has acquired and established subsidiaries and affiliates to continue expanding its reach and growth beyond e-commerce. The following are some of the companies owned by Amazon:
- Whole Foods Market
- Twitch Interactive
Who owns most of Amazon?
After Jeff Bezos’ 10% ownership of Amazon’s outstanding shares, The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the next largest shareholder with 6.52% of Amazon’s shares, followed by BlackRock Fund Advisors (3.68%), SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (3.23%), T. Rowe Price Associates (2.77%), and Fidelity Management & Research Company (2.74%). All of these major shareholders hold between 13-56 billion dollars in market value worth of Amazon stocks or equities. In total, Bezos owns a majority stake in the company, with mutual fund holders and all other institutional shareholders owning a combined 60.09% equity in Amazon overall.
Does Jeff Bezos own all of Amazon?
Despite stepping down as CEO of Amazon in 2021, Jeff Bezos continues to serve as the executive chairman and holds majority ownership of the company, owning 10% (about 992 million shares) of its outstanding stock; he, however, does not own all of it as others have significant equity holdings in the company, such as Vanguard Group (with 664 million shares), BlackRock Fund Advisors (375 million shares), and SSgA Funds Management (329 million shares).