Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Actually, Amazon Paid About $150 Million for Goodreads

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According to sources, Amazon paid about $150 million for Goodreads, the popular books recommendation service. But that number could close in on $200 million, if certain performance metrics are met.

And, while BusinessWeek ran a we-are-just-guessing story today that posited a self-described “overly simple, back-of-the-envelope estimate” of $1 billion, sources said that number is simply wrong.

I am still trying to determine how much of the deal was cash — most of it, said sources — and how much was stock.

The San Francisco-based Goodreads had raised close to $3 million from a range of angel investors, as well as True Ventures. The sale is a big win for the firm, which apparently owned between 20 percent and 30 percent of Goodreads.

The online retail giant bought the company to help its book-y social discovery efforts for customers.

Amazon declined to comment, but the Seattle-based company said previously that the deal should close in the second quarter. It’s not the first time Amazon has bought a social book site — in 2008, the company acquired Shelfari for under $10 million.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik