Is it payback time?
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is leading a $5 million investment round in Business Insider, a New York-based online news site run by former stock analyst Henry Blodget.
Bezos and Blodget have some history.
Blodget gained fame in 1998 with a bold prediction that Amazon stock would hit $400 per share, building investor enthusiasm for what was then a relatively young Seattle startup trading at about $240. Amazon’s stock soared and Blodget’s prediction came true about a month later.
The move made Blodget one of the leading analysts during the dot-com era and elevated him to managing director of Merrill Lynch, until the SEC charged him with making fraudulent research reports that promoted stocks that the firm internally considered losers. He was barred from the securities industry in 2003 but would like to return, according to an article by Ken Auletta in this week’s New Yorker.
Today Blodget announced that Bezos “is making a significant investment in the company,” joining other investors in raising $5 million for the site that Blodget co-founded in 2007.
“Jeff’s vision, leadership, and philosophy at Amazon have inspired a whole generation of startups and entrepreneurs, including me,” Blodget wrote in a note to his staff, which was posted this morning.
Perhaps Bezos can also help BI clean up its Web presentation. This is how its financing report appeared in my browser: