Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told employees he is ‘very excited’ about the automotive industry, a potential hint in the tech giant’s next major drama.
It’so hard to imagine that Amazon started off as a small Seattle bookstore. Now it’s regarded not just an e-commerce giant, but also a leader in areas like cloud computing, AI, and the IoT.
1 place where Bezos’ business is yet to make some inroads is the automotive industry.
IHS Markit predictions international sales of linked cars to reach approximately 72.5 million by 2023. In terms of autonomous cars, the analyst expects international sales of self-driving cars to reach 21 million from the year 2035. Regardless of Bezos is eager.
“If you think about the auto industry right now, there are so many things going on with Uber-isation, electrification, the connected car — so it's a fascinating industry,” Bezos said in a meeting with employees. “It's going to be something very interesting to watch and participate in, and I'm very excited about that whole industry.”
Amazon has made two big investments in self-driving businesses — it led a $700 million investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian in February, also has been a part of a $530 million financing round in Aurora.
Rivian has now raised $1.4 billion to date, ranging from $500 million from Ford from April. From the meeting, Bezos said he was attracted to investing in Rivian because of founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe who he predicted “unbelievable ” and appropriate to this task with his decade-long knowledge from the automotive industry.
“As with most of our major investments, and acquisitions, we're always looking for mission-driven entrepreneurs — missionaries instead of mercenaries,” Bezos said. “And the guy who leads the company, a guy named R.J., is one of the most missionary entrepreneurs I've ever met.”
Aurora, meanwhile, has now captured industry attention because of being conducted by former Google, Tesla, along with Uber executives. The company has also captured the interest of investors and is currently thought to be worth over $2 billion.
Though it’s uncertain what Amazon is likely in the automotive space, it’so apparent it’s a business where it’s a keen attention. The aforementioned investments pushed Amazon’s possession stake in private businesses over the $1 billion mark last quarter, to almost $1.4 billion.
Throughout the meeting, Bezos he didn’t anticipate cars to turn into the business 's next important”pillar” anytime soon.
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