Jeff Bezos’ new venture Blue Origin is costing him $1bn Amazon stock a year

By : |April 6, 2017 0

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, is selling about $1 billion in Amazon stocks per year to finance his venture Blue Origin, a rocket company which aims to launch paying passengers on 11-minute space rides starting next year.

At the Space Symposium, an annual industry conference in Colorado Springs, Bezos said, “My business model right now for Blue Origin is I sell about a billion a year of Amazon stock, and I use it to fund Blue Origin. So the business model for Blue Origin is very robust.”

Bezos was hoping to test the Blue Origin flights this year, but that probably will not happen until next year. “Ultimately, the plan is for Blue Origin to become a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise, with a long-term goal to cut the cost of spaceflight so that millions of people can live and work off Earth,” Bezos said.

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With 80.9 million shares, Bezos is Amazon’s largest shareholder. At Wednesday’s closing share price of $909.28, Bezos would have to sell 1,099,771 shares to meet his pledge of selling $1 billion worth of Amazon stock.

At the symposium, Bezos also showed off the reusable rocket booster and the mock-up of the capsule, known as New Shepard, that will take people up for panoramic space views back down at earth. Blue Origin has not started selling tickets and is also yet to set prices to ride aboard its six-passenger, gumdrop-shaped capsule.

The reusable rocket and capsule are created to carry passengers to an altitude of more than 100 miles (162 km) above the planet to let people enjoy the space experience of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth set against the blackness of space.

“If we can make access to space low-cost, then entrepreneurs will be unleashed,” Bezos said. “You will see creativity; you will see dynamism, you will see the same thing in space that I’ve witnessed on the internet in the last 20 years.”

Though Bezos didn’t mention the total cost, it seems he will spend whatever it takes. “It’s a long road to get there, and I’m happy to invest in it,” Bezos said.

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