Ben and David are once again live on the scene, this time covering the biggest disruption in grocery since… well, sliced bread: Amazon’s $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods Market. We place this deal in context by diving deep into the long, intertwining history of grocery, tech and Amazon, from the infamous dotcom flameout Webvan (domain name now owned by Amazon) to its much more successful progeny Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon in 2012) to current Silicon Valley unicorn Instacart (founded by former Amazon logistics engineer Apoorva Mehta). One thing is clear: for Amazon and Jeff Bezos, realizing the longterm vision of the Everything Store truly means building the everything store.
Topics covered include:
- The origins of Whole Foods Market as “Saferway” in the late 70’s Austin, TX hippie scene, founded by CEO John Mackey (“the Steve Jobs of grocery stores”) and his then-girlfriend Renee Lawson Hardy
- Whole Foods’ expansion through acquisition throughout the 80’s and 90’s
- The company’s recent struggles with competition, leading to sales declines and attracting activist shareholder interest from Jana Partners
- Amazon’s acquisition of the company on June 16, 2017 for $13.7 billion, a 27 percent premium to the stock's previous day closing price
- In depth history and analysis of the four keys to understanding this deal: Webvan, Kiva Systems, AmazonFresh and Instacart
The Carve Out:
- Thanks to Silicon Valley Bank for sponsoring this episode. If you'd like to learn more or start a banking relationship, you can get in touch with Dan Allred here.