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The Amazon founder also owns aerospace company Blue Origin, Washington Post and has invested in companies such as Twitter and Google.

Jeff Bezos is now the worlds richest person in modern history 5 things to know
Atom Wealth Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 16:40

As Amazon kicked off its biggest global sale – Prime Day, the company’s stock rose making its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos the richest man on the planet in modern history. He has overtaken the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in the process.

Bezos was already the richest man in the world according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but Amazon’s rally on Monday made his net worth cross a whopping $150 billion. Thanks to the rapid expansion of Amazon across categories and continents, Jeff Bezos went from being a millionaire to a billionaire in just two years.

But not all of Bezos’ wealth comes from Amazon. The tech entrepreneur has built himself an empire over the years.

Here are five things to know:

Who is Jeff Bezos?

Born in 1964 in New Mexico, Bezos grew up in Houston, Texas. He graduated in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton. Bezos always scored an A through high school, was the class valedictorian and got accepted to Princeton via early admission.

The 54-year old lives in Seattle suburb of Medina. Bezos has three sons and one daughter they adopted from China.

He worked at a hedge fund, which he quit in 1994 to sell books online, and that has grown today to become Amazon.

How much is $150 billion?

Jeff Bezos is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is a distant second with a net worth of $93.5 billion, followed by Warren Buffet at $83 billion.

To put it in perspective, Jeff Bezos is now three times richer than Mukesh Ambani, whose estimated net worth is $42.3 billion.

Bezos’ net worth is more than the entire GDP of Croatia.

Bezos and Amazon

The inspiration for Amazon came to Bezos while he was on a road trip from New York to Seattle. It started as a portal that sold books online.

In the last five years, Amazon’s market capitalisation has soared from $130 billion to roughly $890 billion, multiplying over six times. Its revenue hit $178 billion in 2017.

In February, Amazon’s market value surpassed Microsoft, making it the third most valuable company in the world behind Apple and Google.

Today, Amazon has over 310 million accounts online and sells everything from books, electronics to fashion and food. It also has a streaming business through Prime video and Prime Music and has an offline presence across the globe.

Amazon has also made several large-scale acquisitions. In June 2016, it bought grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, thus foraying into offline retail. Amazon also acquired live-streaming website Twitch as also IMDB, Zappos, Kiva Systems, Alexa, Fabric.com, Goodreads among others.

The Bezos empire

Apart from Amazon, Bezos also founded aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000. The company even successfully sent a test flight into space in 2015. Blue Origin is set to launch its second test mission of 2018 on Wednesday.

In August 2013, Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post' for $250 million through his company Nash Holdings.

He also manages a venture capital fund called Bezos Expeditions, which invests in ventures across the world.

Bezos is also reportedly building a  $42 million clock inside a mountain in Texas, which will chime only once every 10,000 years.

Bezos’ investments

Through Bezos Expeditions, Jeff Bezos has invested in several companies. He invested $100 million in Grail, a company that is working on early cancer detection in 2016. He also invested $15 million in Twitter in 2008. He also reportedly invested $112 million in Airbnb in 2011 in his personal capacity.

Bezos Expeditions’ has also invested in Business Insider and Stack Overflow besides being an angel investor in Google in 1998.

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