Amazon's Bezos leads $5M investment in Business Insider

Jeff Bezos' investment company pumps new cash into the news Web site, a deal that started with a dinner between the Amazon CEO and Business Insider's Henry Blodget.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Dan Farber

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos led an investment group that pumped $5 million in news Web site Business Insider.

In a press release, the news site's co-founder, Henry Blodget, said that Bezos Expeditions, the executive's investment company, led the new round of financing that also included existing Business Insider investors Institutional Venture Partners and RRE Ventures.

"On a personal note, I will add that we are totally stoked about this," Blodget wrote.

In a note to staff, Blodget noted that the proceeds will be used to invest in editorial, technology, sales and marketing, subscriptions, and events. He wrote that the investment stemmed from a conversation that Bezos and Blodget had over dinner a year ago.

The two have a long history. Back when Blodget was a Wall Street analyst in the 1990s, he was among the few who believed in Amazon's prospects when other analysts didn't buy into the company's business model. In 2003, Blodget was barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission from working on Wall Street, part of a settlement of charges that he privately trashed companies that he had issued buy and accumulate ratings on in order to help win investment banking business.

In the press release, Blodget noted that future Business Insider articles about Amazon will include a disclosure that Bezos is an investor.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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