Posted in: Market News
Published:
February 5, 2020 4:11 PM UTC

Did Jeff Bezos Just Splash $2 Billion to Catch up with Elon Musk?

Jeff Bezos just sold $1.84 billion Amazon stock. What's he going to spend it on? All signs point to Blue Orgin, his space venture.
  • Jeff Bezos just sold $1.84 billion Amazon stock in a pre-arranged deal.
  • Bezos is likely to pour the money into his space venture Blue Origin, based on his previous quotes.
  • Bezos is going head to head with Elon Musk in the corporate space race.

Jeff Bezos cashed out almost $2 billion in Amazon stock over the last week. It comes as the company’s market capitalization hits the trillion-dollar milestone.

Where will Bezos’ billions go? All signs point to his space race with Tesla founder Elon Musk. The Amazon CEO has previously said he puts his “lottery winnings from Amazon” into Blue Origin.

Bezos said:

The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it.

A billion dollars every year to fund Blue Origin

Bezos told reporters that he sells at least $1 billion of Amazon shares every year to fund his space mission.

My business model right now … for Blue Origin is I sell about $1 billion of Amazon stock a year and I use it to invest in Blue Origin.

Bezos’ went on a selling spree last week, offloading $1.84 billion of Amazon shares between January 31st – February 3rd.

Jeff Bezos vs Elon Musk space race

Things are heating up in the corporate space race. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have regularly sparred as they build competing space empires.

Bezos has reportedly filed complaints over Musk’s use of a launchpad. And in 2019, Musk accused Bezos of being a ‘copy cat’ over Blue Origin’s decision to launch 3,200 satellites.

In one put-down, Musk boasted that SpaceX technology outpaced Blue Origin by three years.

Competition is even heating up between Musk and Bezos in their day-jobs. Amazon is ramping up its electric vehicle business, taking on Tesla at its own game.

SpaceX vs Blue Origin

The two companies have slightly different ambitions in the ongoing space opera. Musk aims to land a rocket on Mars and build a habitable colony. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also racing ahead with government contracts. Musk just secured an $80 million contract with NASA to power an Earth science mission.

Bezos has his sights set closer to home: the moon. Blue Origin aims to send men and women to the moon by 2024 using a spacecraft called Blue Moon. Bezos began testing the engines for the lunar landing this week.

Speaking of his drive for the Blue Origin project, he said:

I’m pursuing this work, because I believe if we don’t we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing … I am very lucky that I feel like I have a mission-driven purpose with Blue Origin that is, I think, incredibly important for civilization long term. And I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Ben Brown @_ben_brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at benjamin-brown.uk or on Twitter at _Ben_Brown. Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.

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