Amazon grows like a startup—revenues jumped 31% to $233 billion in 2018—and suddenly the ambitious-as-its-name company is recording lusty profits as well. Amazon earned $10 billion last year on the strength of its industry-leading online software business, Amazon Web Services. For years the company that Jeff Bezos founded in 1994 as an online bookseller was a fearsome e-commerce competitor that either lost money altogether or eked out tiny margins. Today it is the disruptor to beat in everything from bundled memberships of free and speedy retail delivery and original video programming to groundbreaking Alexa-powered Echo digital assistants.
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"We view this as a chance to build the next Intel," says one investor.