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Jeff Bezos' big bets: From Washington Post to candle holders

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' personal acquisition of The Washington Post on Monday represents his largest yet. Find out what else he's invested in.

Bezos introducing the Kindle Fire in 2011.
Bezos introducing the Kindle Fire in 2011. Getty Images

The sale of The Washington Post to tech heavyweight Jeff Bezos came as a surprise on Monday for many reasons, not the least of which is that he has never spent so much on any individual venture.

Bezos, who is most well-known as the CEO and co-founder of Amazon, also owns an investment firm called Bezos Expeditions. The firm manages Bezos' various investments, of which there have been many. The group also oversees various philanthropic projects, including an effort to recover the F-1 rocket engines from Apollo 11 from the bottom of the ocean, and restore them for public display.

All told, Bezos, who Forbes estimates to be worth more than $25 billion, will spend $250 million on purchasing The Washington Post, a deal that is set to close later this year. In reality, that's a grand amount when compared with what Bezos has put into various startups over the years, many of which have been smaller stakes in rounds led by established venture firms.

Read on to get an idea of how some of his other investments have stacked up.

Business Insider - 4/5/2013
The wide-ranging news site raises a $5 million round of funding, led by Bezos Expeditions. The investment is notable in that the site also reports on Bezos, Amazon, and other technology companies.

Domo - 3/11/13
Bezos Expeditions is part of a $60 million funding round for Domo, a business software company.

Nextdoor - 2/12/13
Nextdoor, a social networking and news tool for neighborhoods, raises $21.6 million in funding. Bezos Expeditions is one of two new investors along with Google Ventures.

D-Wave - 10/4/12
This Canadian and American technology company, which makes processors, nets a $30 million round of funding that includes an investment from Bezos Expeditions.

Everfi - 8/14/12
Education startup EverFi nets a $10 million funding round. Bezos is joined by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Allen and Company, as well as Eric Schmidt (of Google fame)'s Tomorrow Ventures.

Aviary's image editor.
Aviary's image editor. Aviary

Aviary - 6/27/12
Bezos Expeditions is part of a $6 million funding round on the Web based photo editor, also led by Spark Capital.

Behance - 5/14/12
Online portfolio site Behance gets a $6.5 million funding round that includes a stake by Bezos Expeditions.

Uber - 12/7/11
The car transport service, that now also has an on-demand ice cream truck and boat service (those are two different things), nabs $32 million in funding, led by Menlo Ventures. Bezos Expeditions leads the funding round along with Goldman Sachs.

Workday - 10/24/11
Bezos Expeditions is one of several investors in an $85 million funding round for Workday, an HR and payroll startup.

General Assembly - 9/7/11
Bezos, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and a trio of other investors put $4.25 million into New York-based General Assembly, a startup incubator.

Bezos was a seed investor of MakerBot, which makes 3D printers.
Bezos was a seed investor of MakerBot, which makes 3D printers. CNET

MakerBot - 8/23/2011
3D-printing phenom MakerBot raises $10 million in funding, led by the Foundry Group. Bezos Expeditions is part of the round, though the company is also listed as a seed funder.

Mashape - 8/15/11
Mashape is a company that lets people sell APIs. The company nabs $1.5 million in seed funding from a group of investors including Bezos.

AirBnB - 7/25/11
Open rental service AirBnB nabs $112 million in funding. The majority of that is from Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, and General Catalyst, but Bezos is also reportedly a part of the round.

General Fusion 0 5/5/11
General Fusion, a nuclear fusion startup, raises $19.5 million in funding, and includes a new investment from Bezos Expeditions.

Doxo - 5/10/10
Seattle-based bill digitizing service Doxo raises $5.25 million in funding, which includes a sum from Bezos Expeditions.

Qliance - 4/28/10
The medical technology company raises $6 million from a group led by Bezos, which also includes Michael Dell.

Glassybaby's glassware.
Glassybaby's glassware. Glassybaby

Glassybaby - 11/27/09
Perhaps one of the most unique on Bezos' investments list is Glassybaby, a Seattle-based glassmaking company that specializes in candle holders and drinking glasses. Per a Seattle Times report, Bezos bought a 22 percent stake in the company in the summer of 2008.

Rethink Robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics) - 8/21/09
Industrial robots startup Rethink Robotics, then called Heartland Robotics, raises a $7 million series A funding that includes Bezos Expeditions.

ZocDoc - 10/1/08
The New York-based medical reservation startup nabs $3 million in a funding round led by Khosla Ventures. Bezos Expeditions and CEO Marc Benioff also invest an undisclosed amount.


Twitter - 6/24/08
In what may be the most flowery, and verbose, funding announcement for a company that made a name for itself with forced succinctness, Twitter announces a new round of funding, and the addition of Bezos Expeditions to its "investment team." - 2/5/07
Atlanta-based, which links up buyers with suppliers, raises a new round of funding that includes Bezos Expeditions.

ChaCha - 1/8/07
The search site nets a $6 million round of funding, led by Bezos Expeditions. Other investors include founding Compaq CEO Rod Canion and Jack Gill.

Pelago - 11/9/06
The social-networking service raises $7.4 million from a group made up of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers along with Bezos' group. Worth noting is that the startup was funded by former Amazoners.

37signals - 7/20/06
Without naming how much, 37signals -- the makers of Web apps like Basecamp and Campfire, note that Bezos Expeditions made a minority private equity investment.

Linden Lab - 3/28/06
Then-buzzy makers of massive social gaming hit "Second Life" raise $11 million in funding, led by Gloespan Capital Parners. Bezos is also part of the round.