Saturday, April 25, 2009 sold, but not to, the leading e-commerce site of the Netherlands, was finally sold. It started life as part of Bertelsmann Online and is now becoming part of the Cyrte investments portfolio.
Two years ago, I argued that it was a great fit for, much like Amazon, is venturing beyond books into electronics and it too has fierce local competition from an eBay affiliate: (classifieds).

Financial details of are not disclosed, but let's see how they compare:
  • Sales 2008: Amazon $19.166bn (+29%), Bol EUR 224m (+31%). This makes Amazon 65x larger (at current USD and EUR rates). Growth rates have pretty much converged.
  • Employees (at present): Amazon 20,600, Bol 230. On this metric, Amazon is 90x larger.
Of course, the differences are significant. One could say that is an early stage Amazon look-alike. It lacks a global presence, digital downloads and streaming, the Kindle e-book reader (including the WhisperNet MVNO), wholesale services (fulfillment) and web services. It doesn't seem to have the scale to ever match Amazon when it comes to innovation, which is essential in a world that steadily migrates away from physical products.

Amazon's market capitalisation is $36.3bn and it has $0.4bn in long-term debt, a total of EUR 27.7bn. One can only hope that Cyrte paid less than Amazon's 2x sales multiple valuation, which would translate into a maximum of EUR 400m.


Rudolf said...

I never really understood the strategy of Amazon on a global scale. It seems to be content with where it is and doesn't seem to expand alot.

ed80 said...

Amazon is making a lot of money nowadays with the fees they collect on sales by third parties via their website.