Amazon founder creates $2 billion fund to help children and the homeless
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Amazon founder creates $2 billion fund to help children and the homeless

Ecommerce titan Amazon joined a very select club last month when it became the second company in the world with a market cap of more-than $1 trillion. This, of course, has ramifications for the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos. Due to his stake in the company, Bezos’ worth has risen by an incredible $64.7 billion this year alone, and he is currently the world’s richest person with a net worth of $163.8 billion (according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index). Now, he has decided to use some of that wealth to become a philanthropist in the mode of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett (two other billionaires who sit at the top of global wealth lists).

Amazon’s share price has surged by 63% over the first 9 months of the year

graph 1809 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Titled the Bezos Day One Fund, Mr. Bezos’ new venture will focus on two initiatives: the first is to fund existing non-profits, who engage in “compassionate, needle-moving work” to shelter and support young families, through a system of annual awards. The second is to operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship preschools. The fund’s mission ‘no child sleeps outside’ is borrowed from Seattle non-profit Mary’s Place, and Mr. Bezos says he plans to bring the same strategic brilliance responsible for Amazon’s ascent to the philanthropic world. He wrote, in a blog post shared to Twitter: “We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.”

This move is, of course, entirely separate from Mr. Bezos’ commercial interests. But in a world of media saturation and financial scrutiny, that can be hard to remember. Everyone knows where Bezos’ money comes from, and it is unlikely a single article will ever be written about the Bezos Day One Fund that does not, somewhere, include the word ‘Amazon’. That could be a positive, given the on-going public backlash against Big Tech and big business. Amazon, thus far, has emerged from both backlashes unscathed. But good press never hurt anyone.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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