Jeff Bezos backing two secretive startups

Owen Thomas · 09/11/08 01:40PM

The founder of is usually pretty tightlipped about his personal investments, which he makes through a vehicle called Bezos Expeditions. Stephen Campbell, Bezos's chief investment officer, has blabbed about two new Jeff Bezos-backed startups via his LinkedIn profile. One, Finsphere, raised eyebrows in June when regulatory filings revealed it had raised $10 million from an unnamed source. Could Bezos be the bountiful backer?Finsphere hasn't announced its product plans, but a job listing for an engineeering position suggests it's engaged in some kind of wireless play. The other company, Aviary, makes Internet-based image-, video-, and music-creation tools. Like Finsphere, it hasn't publicly announced any investors. But check out the team caricatures on their "About" page. Doesn't the fellow in the lower right-hand corner look a bit like Bezos?

Jeff Bezos restarts Amazon's shopping spree

Tim Faulkner · 08/07/07 04:31PM

Notable bombs like and at the height of the Internet bubble scared CEO Jeff Bezos out of the acquisition business. But he now appears to be cautiously filling up his cart again. So far this year, he's done three publicly announced acquisitions of or investments in startups — more than he did, as far as we can tell, in the Internet-depression years of 2002 through 2004. And that's just through — we're not counting any of the deals he's made on his own through Bezos Expeditions, his personal investment vehicle.


8/6/2007 - Amie Street (demand-based pricing music download service)

2/25/2007 - Shelfari (book-centric social networking)

2/16/2007 - Atomic Moguls (fantasy sports)

12/5/2006 - Wikia (search)

10/2006 - TextPayMe (wireless payment system)

2/27/2006 - (women's apparel retailer)

6/1/2005 - CustomFlix (download and burn DVDs)

4/10/2005 - (social bookmarking, later sold to Yahoo)

4/4/2005 - BookSurge LLC (on-demand book-printing)

4/1/2005 - (eBooks for mobile devices)

2/9/2005 - 43 Things/Robot Coop ("goal" blogging/social network)

8/19/2004 - Limited (Chinese web retailer)

12/1/2001- (electronics retailer)

12/1/2001 - (online hardware retailer)

11/9/2001 - Catalog City (catalog merchants)

2/1/2001 - (online retailer)

4/18/2000 - (win retailer)

3/28/2000 - eZiba (handicraft retailer)

2/18/2000 - Basis (internationalization technology for web sites)

2/3/2000 - Greg Manning Auctions, Inc. (collectibles)

1/31/2000 - Audible (audio books)

1/24/2000 - (online drugstore)

1/21/2000 - Greenlight (online car retailer)

1/11/2000 - (grocery delivery service)

12/1/1999 - Ashford (luxury web retailer)

11/4/1999 - Convergence Corporation (mobile connectivity)

11/1/1999 - Tool Crib of the North (online and catalog tool and home improvement retailer)

11/1/1999 - (gift registry and suggestions)

11/1/1999 - Back to Basics Toys (toy store)

7/14/1999 - (sports merchandise)

5/18/1999 - (online grocer)

4/25/1999 - (financial transactions)

4/24/1999 - e-Niche Incorporated (,, and - online marketplaces)

4/1/1999 - (live internet auctions)

3/29/1999 - (online pet supplies)

2/1/1999 - (online drugstore)

2/1/1999 - Geoworks (wireless communications)

1999 - MindCorps Incorporated (web applications - exact date unknown)

8/4/1998 - Sage Enterprises/PlanetAll (web-based personal management)

8/4/1998 - Junglee (web-based databases)

4/27/1998 - Bookpages (UK online bookstore)

4/27/1998 - Telebook (German online bookstore)

4/27/1998 - IMDB (movie and television directory)