Amazon Becomes World's Most Valuable Public Company

8th January 2019

Jeff Bezos founded the company 25 years ago, in 1994, as a place to buy second-hand books.

Amazon has overtaken Microsoft to become the most valuable listed company in the world. It is the first time the online retailer has held the top position.

The ecommerce titan was valued at $797bn when the US stock market closed on Monday after rising 3.4 per cent and edging past Microsoft, valued at $789bn.

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, is the richest man in the world. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Mr Bezos is worth $135bn.

Mr Bezos founded the company 25 years ago, in 1994, as a place to buy second-hand books. Within a month of its launch, it had already shipped orders to all 50 states and 45 countries, according to The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.

In Amazon's first five years, customer accounts jumped from 180,000 to 17 million. Sales skyrocketed from $511,000 to more than $1.6bn.

The business was floated on the stock exchange in 1997, raising $54m, and landing Mr Bezos squarely within the ranks of the world's richest business people before he turned 35 years old.

The firm accounted for roughly half of all online shopping sales in the US in 2018 and employs more than half a million people.


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