The deal is Amazon's largest ever acquisition, and points to expanding ambition in the grocery and brick-and-mortar space.
On Friday, Amazon announced a plan to acquire public grocery retailer Whole Foods for $13.7B, in what would be Amazon’s largest acquisition of all time by over 10x. Prior to the grocery chain acquisition, Amazon’s largest purchase was of e-commerce platform Zappos in 2009, for $1.2B; below that ranks its 2014 acquisition of gaming video platform Twitch for $970M.
While Amazon’s acquisitions have covered a range of areas, they have generally all been online or virtual businesses. For example, its other acquisitions in 2017 to date have been of UAE-based e-commerce marketplace Souq.com, productivity software Do.com, cloud-based design platform Thinkbox Software, and cybersecurity firm Harvest.ai. The Whole Foods deal is radically different, of course, in that it brings Amazon over 400 physical grocery stores — stores which can continue to sell products, while also potentially serving as warehousing outposts for last-mile delivery of online purchases of fast moving or perishable goods.
We used the CB Insights database to put together a chart of Amazon’s ten largest disclosed acquisition deals, topped by Whole Foods. See the list below.
|Company||Company Description||Date||Price||Select Prior Investors|
|Whole Foods Market (Pending)||Supermarket chain||June 2017||$13.7B||Public|
|Zappos||E-commerce footwear and apparel marketplace||July 2009||$1.2B||Accelerator Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Sequoia Capital|
|Twitch Interactive||Video platform and community for gamers||September 2014||$970M||Alsop-Louie Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Associates, Felicis Ventures, Floodgate|
|Kiva Systems||Warehouse robotics maker||March 2012||$775M||Bain Capital Ventures, Gold Hill Capital, Meakem Becker Venture Capital|
|Souq.com||Middle East-based e-commerce marketplace||March 2017||$580M||Naspers, Tiger Global Management|
|Quidsi||E-commerce platform and parent of Diapers.com (baby care), Soap.com (household essentials) and BeautyBar.com (prestige beauty)||June 2011||$500M||Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners|
|Annapurna Labs||Software solutions for data centers||January 2015||$370M||N/A|
|LOVEFiLM International||DVD rentals and movie downloads and streaming||January 2011||$312M||Balderton Capital, Draper Esprit, Index Ventures, LocalGlobe, Octopus Ventures|
|Audible||Audio programs and entertainment platform||March 2008||$300M||Public|
|AWS Elemental (formerly Elemental Technologies)||Video streaming technology||September 2015||$296M||General Catalyst, Voyager Capital, Norwest Venture Partners|
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