Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon, a company that virtually everyone across the globe uses to buy things online, but does that mean that he is a billionaire?
Yes, Jeff Bezos is a billionaire. Bezos has earned his billions of dollars from the creation of his company Amazon in 1994. Through smart investing and a keen eye for the future, Bezos has managed to amass a fortune the likes of which the world has not seen. He is the richest person in the world.
Scroll down to find out more about how Jeff Bezos became a billionaire and just how much he is worth.
Making His First Billion
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded a small online book retailer named Amazon. He was running the company out of the garage in his new Seattle home and used the $300,000 loan provided by his parents to get the company off of the ground.
It was only three years later, in 1997, that the company went public. When Amazon went public, it managed to raise $54 million in funds on the initial public offering. This was Bezos’ first jump into the world of being a multimillionaire. It wasn’t much longer before he breached the ranks of billionaires.
Only one year later, in 1998, it was reported that Bezos earned $1.6 billion. A year later, in 1999, he made it onto the Forbes List of Billionaires. With the dot com crash at the end of the 90’s, the fate of Amazon seemed to be up in the air as other tech companies failed and went under. Bezos has a keen eye for company longevity and he brought the company through hard times and out the other side. In 1999, Bezos’ wealth sat at $10 billion, which fell all the way to $1.5 billion by 2002. However, by the following year he managed to increase this number by 104%.
Some Smart Investments Along the Way
If Amazon had failed when the dot com bubble popped, would Jeff Bezos still have become a billionaire? Most likely, yes. The reason behind this notion is that Bezos was actually able to invest in Google when the company was starting out.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin were no longer looking for investors in Google when they met Jeff Bezos. Bezos had heard of the new search engine and visited their headquarters. He was so blown away by what they were working on that the persuasive Bezos negotiated an investment. He gave them $1 million as an angel investor. In 2017, it was estimated that this investment was now worth approximately $3.1 billion.
Other than Bezos’ investment in Google, he has had a nose for investing and turning those investments into gold. In 2013, he purchased a dying newspaper company, The Washington Post. He changed their business model and within three years the company was turning a profit.
Becoming the World’s Wealthiest Person
Over the past twenty years, the title of wealthiest person in the world has been consistently held by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. Gates has held the title for thirteen out of the past twenty years and held the title for eight consecutive years from 2000 to 2007. Other holders of the title in the 2000s have been the hedge fund investor, Warren Buffet, and the Mexican business magnate, Carlos Slim.
It was in 2018 that Bezos overtook Bill Gates for the title of wealthiest person in the world. This was only two years after Bezos had worked his way into the list of top ten billionaires. You can follow Forbes’ Real Time Billionaire stats here.
You can watch a Bloomberg discussion about how Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world by watching the video below.
Bezos’ wealth in 2020 was fluctuating between $140 and $150 billion as the world has become more reliant on online purchasing. Bezos has held the title of the wealthiest person for 2018 and 2019. If the trend continues then it is likely he will hold it again for the third consecutive year in 2020.