All in the Family

By Pickle  August 5, 2018

Nearly 30 years after liberalization, today India has 108 publicly-listed family-owned businesses, the third highest in the world, while China tops the tally with 167 such companies followed by the US which has 121, according to a recent Credit Suisse report.

The report points out the significance of family members in shaping the businesses world-wide. In 1995, Jackie and Mike Bezos invested $245,573 into their son’s fledgling e-commerce website. “It was a big gamble, Mike Bezos, the stepfather of Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, recalled onstage during a 2015 event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia,” writes Tom Metcalf of Bloomberg.

However, the gamble paid off and today Jeff Bezos’ parents could be billionaires after a 12,000,000 per cent return on their initial Amazon investment.

“That would make them wealthier than Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, the 30th-richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index,” adds Metcalf.

Although the holdings of Jeff Bezos’ parents haven’t been publicly disclosed for the past two decade now, “continuing donations of Amazon stock to their charitable foundation suggest they still control a healthy chunk of the world’s second-most valuable company.”

More than the speculation on the holdings of the parents, which could be worth almost $30 billion today, it is the returns of 12,000,000% on their investment “that would make even the most celebrated venture capitalists blush”.

“Soft-Bank’s $20-million bet on Alibaba has returned about 720,000% since 2000, according to calculations by Bloomberg. Sequoia Capital’s WhatsApp investment returned roughly 36,000% by the time Facebook Inc. bought the messaging service for $22 billion in 2014,” writes Metcalf.

However, according to Eduardo Gruener, co-founder of GFG Capital in Miami, “Extraordinary returns don’t come around often.”

“Replace Amazon with nearly any other name in the market and the ending may have turned out as a nightmare.”

But in the case of Jeff Bezos’ parents they hit a jackpot by backing him when he needed it the most. The rest is history.

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