Amazon is an e-commerce giant and internet services company based in Seattle. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, the company has reached heights and became the largest psychology of price perception in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization. It is the second largest in terms of total sales after the Alibaba Group founded by Jack Ma.
If you read the story of Jeff Bezos and learn how he started Amazon, you will realize that his personality inspires many to create ventures and become rich. Same goes for Amazon employees as well. A number of companies have been started and founded by former Amazon employees.
List of Notable Businesses founded by ex-Amazon employees
1Boomerang Commerce was founded by Guru Hariharan.
After working at Amazon, Shutterfly, and eBay, Guru Hariharan started Boomerang Commerce in 2012. Boomerang is a dynamic pricing company. Despite the fact that shoppers think, Amazon doesn’t always display the lowest prices on the web, a report by Boomerang commerce demonstrates.
Amazon tweaks prices many times in an hour i.e millions of individual price changes every day, taking advantage of the shopper’s psychology of price perception and comparison, the analysis by Boomerang Commerce says.
2Findory was founded by Greg Linden.
Founded by Amazon alumnus Greg Linden in 2004, Findory was a news and blog aggregation system using collaborative filtering to provide users with personalized news feeds and news. It collected all the past history of articles and blogs that a user clicked and recommend articles preferred by similar users.
In January 2007, Linden planned to shut the service down and Findory was ceased on December 2007. Along with news and blogs, Findory also aggregated personalized podcasts and videos for its users.
3Flipkart was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the brain behind Flipkart earlier worked at Amazon. They ditched in 2007 and shifted to start their own company with a very same business model. Flipkart took off and became the largest online marketplace in terms of sales volume in India.
Amazon didn’t enter India until early 2012. It acquired the price comparison site Junglee back in the late 90s. The company opened its website especially for Indian consumers in 2013. Flipkart raised $1 billion in funding which compelled Amazon to put $2 billion into its Indian operations. Flipkart currently employees 33,000 people and attracts more than 10 million users daily.
4Foodista.com was founded by Barnaby Dorfman.
Barnaby served as the general manager of Bibliofind.com, a startup Amazon acquired in 1999, leading a team to define new product categories in the Amazon Marketplace including the Gourmet Food Store. During his term of 7 years at Amazon, he served as the Vice President of A9.com and director at the Internet Movie Database subsidiary.
He later founded Foodista.com, a Seattle-based food and cooking web startup. The website publishes articles on recipes, food, cooking tools and techniques with Creative Common Attribution licence. The business model depends on advertisements, but it also incorporates coupons and another sort of promotions from similar companies.
5Hackerrank was founded by Vivek Ravisankar.
Vivek worked at Amazon as a software engineer dealing with Kindle Content Services team and conducting technical interviews to hire new programmers and developers. The interview process somehow felt so broken to him that he decided to quit Amazon and fix the problem.
And HackerRank was born. It is a tool recruiter can use to create programming tests based on various skills they want to test for. Candidates have the option to appear on online tests and get a score based on an algorithm. Interestingly, Amazon uses HackerRank in it’s recruiting process.
6Hulu was led by Jason Kilar.
Jason Kilar, prior to founding Hulu, served for 9 years in a vast variety of senior leadership roles with Amazon including general manager and vice president of Amazon’s North American media businesses. The sectors include the company’s books, video and music categories.
Hulu, an online video streaming service, brings together a selection of videos from over 260 content companies. Founded in March 2007, it now operates with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Beijing.
7Hointer founded by Nadia Shouraboura
Nadia was an Amazon employee for 8 years. During her term with Amazon, she scaled all the way up to the corporate ladder into Jeff Bezos’ elite “S-Team” of direct reports. Eventually, she quit in 2012 and founded Hointer, a futuristic retail store that makes the shopping experience convenient.
8Infibeam was founded by Vishal Mehta.
Infibeam, an Indian e-commerce company involved in online retailing and internet services, was founded by Vishal Mehta in 20017. Vishal is a Cornell and MIT Sloan’s alumnus and experienced in working for Dell and Amazon.com for five years.
9Instacart was founded by Apoorva Mehta.
Apporva, an engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo, worked as a design engineer at Blackberry before joining Amazon. He worked at Amazon.com as a supply chain engineer before founding Instacart in 2012. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Instacart is a fast-growing retail delivery startup, originally launched in San Fransisco and since scaled to many other cities. It delivers groceries and other items in as little as one hour. In January 2015, the startup was awarded “America’s Most Promising Company” title.
10Jambool and SocialGold were co-founded by Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein.
Vikas and Reza met at Amazon where they decided to quit and start Jambool in 2007. The startup managed Social Good, which became the leading virtual goods monetization platform and later captured the interest of Google.
Google acquired Jambool in 2010. Today Gupta runs a tech company for kids called Wonder Workshop where he teaches children to play with robots through code. Reza Hussein still works at Google on the Fiber team which he joined during the acquisition.
11Jet.com was founded by Marc Lore.
Amazon bought Quidsi in 2010, a startup founded by Marc. Marc Lore worked for Amazon for several years managing his acquired startup until he started working on a stealth startup which has been unveiled as Jet. It is a virtual marketplace that promises to offer prices that are 10-15% cheaper than anywhere on the internet including Amazon itself.
Headquartered in New Jersey, the company has raised over $820 million in four venture rounds from firms including Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital Ventures, Accel Partners, Alibaba Group and Fidelity. Jet.com was launched in July 2015.
12Meh.com was founded by Matt Rutledge
After selling his daily-deals company Woot to Amazon for a whopping $110 million way back in 2010, he lives under the umbrella of Mediocre Labs. The company is working on several other experiments with cryptic code-names like Wohler and Frisch.
13Pelago was co-founded by Jeff Holden and Darren Vengroff.
Darren spent six years at Goldman Sachs and then served as a Principal Engineer at Amazon with responsibilities in personalization, automated email targeting, time-series analysis and deployment of systems. Jeff worked at Amazon as Senior Vice President of Consumer Websites being responsible for website experience including personalization, Prime, community, search, automated merchandising and online traffic.
Together they founded Pelago in 2005. Whrrl v 2.0, Pelago’s most recent product is a mobile and web app that helps people to capture and share the moments of the life in a story form. Using location, photos and text updates, users can turn everyday life experiences into a worth-reading story.
14Pro.com was founded by Matt Williams.
A long-time Amazon employee Matt Williams put together a dream to give people looking to tackle a home improvement project a price estimate for both materials and labour and started Pro.com. It recommends professionals to get the job done.
With Digg CEO, Andreessen Horowitz, William raised an upwards of $17 million for Pro and a bunch of the company’s coworkers are ex-Amazon employees as well. William worked for 12 years at Amazon as Jeff Bezos’ shadows, an incredibly elite position. William also served as Digg’s CEO before starting Pro.
15Quora was co-founded by engineer Charlie Cheever.
A question-and-answer website, Quora was founded in 2009 in California. It enables its users from all over the world to come together and ask questions and get answers from across millions of people with common interests and particular expertise.
Charlie co-founded Quora, formerly known as Alma Networks. Before starting the company he worked as an engineer at Facebook and prior to that, he served as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon. He is a Harvard graduate with an A.B in Computer Science.
16Some Spider was founded by Vinit Bharara
Vinit Bharara, an Amazon employee, now uses the cash he got from the acquisition of his former startup Quidsi by Amazon to run a blogging network that recently poached one top New York Times executive. He worked at Amazon for two years after the acquisition of Quidsi.
Some Spider runs three blogs so far – Scary Mommy, Cafe.com and The Mid. He wants to keep expanding the network with more demographics and geography focused publications and aims to connect personally, emotionally and usefully with their readers.
17TeachStreet was founded by Dave Schappell.
Dave Schappell worked with Amazon from 1998 to 2004, when he developed and managed the Associate’s programme on the Amazon marketplace. In 2007, he founded TeachStreet, a company that helped learners find great classes and teachers from all over the United States. It powers robust online tools to help teachers manage teaching business and find leads.
He is a Pennsylvania State University graduate and pursued an MBA from The Wharton School of Business. Currently, he is working as the Director of Business Development at Amazon Web Services helping the company to grow its user base focusing on early-stage startups and entrepreneurs community
18Twilio was founded by Jeff Lawson.
Jeff Lawson led the foundation of Twilio in 2008 and earned a $1 billion valuation after securing $100 million funds in April. Companies like Uber, SmartThings and OpenTable use the platform services to send SMS to their customers.
Lawson served as a product manager for Amazon Web Services before founding the company. He aims to migrate communication from legacy-based physical networks to the software and build communication into products.
19Wanderable was founded by Jenny Chen
Jenny worked as a software engineer at Amazon Web Services. She met Marcela at Stanford and became good friends. Marcela Miyazawa worked at Microsoft in the search team until 2011 when both of them decided to quit their respective jobs and start something new.
Wanderable helps couples create wedding registries to ask for honeymoon experience instead of toasters. The newly married couples can use Wanderable to send personalized thank-you cards, with pictures of them enjoying the gifts from their friends and relatives.
There are way more businesses and startups founded by past Amazon employees. However, we have included only those which the notable businesses founded by ex-Amazon employees. Many of the above-mentioned businesses like Hointer are Jambool have shut their shops. Let us know how many more startups you know in the comments.