Sunday 31 May 2020 12:58 pm

Jeff Bezos takes stake in UK tech startup Beacon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is reportedly investing in UK technology startup Beacon.

The world’s richest man has agreed to back the startup, which is a specialist in digital freight forwarding and supply chain finance, according to Sky News.

Bezos, who is worth approximately $143bn, is said to be participating in a $15m Series A funding to be announced this week, according to the report. He has a long history of investing in early-stage companies, including Airbnb and cancer detection company, Grail.

He holds an approximate 12 per cent in Amazon, which is now worth $1.22 trillion at Friday’s closing share price of $2,442.37.

Beacon was set up in 2018 by Fraser Robinson, former head of Uber’s EMEA operations. The startup is reportedly funded by Uber’s founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp among others.

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The company’s chief technology officer, Pierre Martin, previously worked at Amazon.

The platform finances deals, allowing companies to pay their suppliers later and suppliers to get paid upfront, while also cutting shipping costs. It uses artificial intelligence and cloud technology to improve efficiency.

The startup makes money by taking a fee for financing customers’ working capital.

Sky sources say Beacon’s new round of funding will be deployed to expand its workforce and invest in new technological capability.

Bezos will be joined by Silicon Valley-based investor 8VC, which is taking a stake in the company.

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