January 21, 2000 1:50 PM PST

Amazon invests in car retailer Greenlight

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Amazon.com expanded its portfolio of investments today, announcing that it has bought a 5 percent stake in online car retailer Greenlight.com.

The e-commerce leader did not disclose what it paid for the investment. Under a promotional agreement within the investment, recently launched Greenlight will pay Amazon $82.5 million over five years in exchange for marketing efforts and promotions. Amazon has the option to boost its stake in the company to 30 percent within that five-year period.

"We are excited to be teaming up with the e-commerce leader," Greenlight chief executive Todd Collins said in a statement. "Now that Greenlight has teamed up with Amazon and its customer base of 16 million experienced online shoppers, no one else can deliver so many potential new-car buyers."

Amazon's move is only the latest in a string of investments by the e-commerce juggernaut. Last month, the Seattle-based company bought a 16.6 percent stake in luxury goods e-tailer Ashford.com. Amazon also has investments in Drugstore.com, Pets.com, Homegrocer.com, sporting goods e-tailer Gear.com and online gift registry Della.com.

Amazon backer and blue chip venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced earlier this month that it launched Greenlight with Asbury Automotive Group, one of the nation's leading automobile networks. The site allows consumers to buy cars online through local dealerships.

Greenlight currently sells cars in Greensboro, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Fort Pierce, Fla.; and Atlanta. The company plans to expand into the nation's top 50 markets by April 1.


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