Amazon CEO Ponies Up

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It has been quite a week for news website Business Insider. Co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget was the subject of a profile in The New Yorker and today the company raised $5 million in funding from investors including Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Business Insider posted an internal memo from Blodget describing the announcement:

Jeff’s investment grew out of a dinner he and I had about a year ago. We talked about the business, and he was excited about it. (He sees some parallels with Amazon). A few months later, he expressed an interest in investing. My reaction was basically “Hell, yeah!”

“Parallels with Amazon?” Last time we checked, Amazon was primarily a retailer and Business Insider was a news site. Amazon recently acquired a social reading site called Goodreads, but the logic there is a bit easier to see. Amazon has been hit with allegations (some true) of phony reviews, and the company has been trying to winnow the sales touts from the reviews that accompany virtually all the products that the company sells.

But if Business Insider does in fact have “parallels” with Amazon — and Bezos has made few bad bets — then could BI be in line for a buyout from the Bezos-led firm? In his New Yorker profile, Blodget said, “I expect that someday Business Insider will be acquired by someone. … We either will become part of a larger enterprise or become the larger enterprise.” Well, Amazon is certainly a larger enterprise.

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