fbpx

US Markets Loading… H M S

Premium

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon's consumer business, announces the company's Prime Air drone at its re:MARS conference in Las Vegas on June 5, 2019.

Jeff Wilke, the former CEO of Amazon’s consumer business.
Amazon

This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now.

  • Jeff Wilke spent over 20 years at Amazon and led its consumer-retail business.
  • After leaving the company earlier this year, he has become an active startup investor.
  • His investment focus includes real estate, adtech, and protein research.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Just five months into his retirement, Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s former CEO of worldwide consumer, is emerging as a prolific startup investor.

In an interview with Insider, Wilke said he had personally funded more than a dozen early-stage startups since his departure from Amazon earlier this year. Wilke spent over two decades at Amazon, eventually overseeing the company’s global retail business and becoming one of the most powerful executives there. 

Wilke’s personal investment portfolio is diverse. It includes real estate, agriculture, and new railroad technology. He’s also invested this year in a home-insulation startup and a protein-research startup that will soon emerge from the University of Washington’s Baker Lab, he said. His most recent investment came earlier this week, when he joined the $15 million funding round for CivicScience’s new adtech business, which is building an alternative to third-party cookies. 

Wilke isn’t entirely new to startup investing. He’s been involved with at least 17 deals and started backing young companies as early as 2013, according to PitchBook. Some of the other notable companies he’s backed include the freight startup Convoy and Re:Build Manufacturing, where he serves as chairman.

Wilke said he also invested in a number of startups with Ali Partovi, who runs a fund called Neo. He’s also helping to back Black entrepreneurs through funds like Slauson & Co. And now that he’s retired, Wilke seems poised to increase the frequency of his personal investments.

“I enjoy interacting with founders,” Wilke said. “I like to be around the innovation that happens with early-stage startups.”

Here’s a list detailing many of his investments:

  • A startup that’s coming out of David Baker’s protein-research institute at the University of Washington.
  • Evertrak, which builds glass-fiber railroad ties glass reinforced with recycled plastic.
  • CleanFiber, which is using reclaimed fiber board from cardboard boxes for home insulation.
  • Copia, which develops process-control software.
  • A startup that is building a new type database — still in stealth mode.
  • Beeflow, which is trying to improve bee pollination for farmers.
  • Pacaso, a startup that helps people buy second homes by sharing stakes with other owners. That investment was done with former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, and Wilke said he had invested in other startups with Rascoff. 
  • An education startup that’s still in stealth.
  • A stealth startup developing better computer-vision software. 
  • A personal-wellness company that’s coming out of stealth soon.
  • Several investments in Black entrepreneurs through firms such as Slauson.

A picture of a switch and lightbulb

Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know.

Subscribe to push notifications

More: Amazon Jeff Wilke Venture Capital

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Source: Amazon’s former retail CEO Jeff Wilke has become a prolific startup investor. Here are 10 companies he’s backed recently. (AMZN)

Amazon’s former retail CEO Jeff Wilke has become a prolific startup investor. Here are 10 companies he’s backed recently. (AMZN) - Click To Share

Other recent press releases

*This is a free press release. All upgraded press releases are ad-free!

Biden’s SEC Reacts Negatively to Bipartisan, Pro-Market ‘Responsible Financial Innovation Act’

Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has publicly expressed concerns about new bipartisan legislation drafted by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would provide clarity around laws concerning the use and trade of bitcoin, stablecoin, and other cryptocurrencies, and the regulatory jurisdiction under which such commodities fall.

Surviving Britain’s homelessness crisis – podcast

“It’s almost like I’d been prepared for it my entire life. I mean, it’d be more of a surprise if I hadn’t ended up homeless.” Journalist Daniel Lavelle tells Nosheen Iqbal about how he ended up pitching a tent at the side of a bridle path in 2013. He was 26 and had been living

Roger Federer Returns To Wimbledon, Hoping For One More Run On The Grass Next Year

Switzerland’s Roger Federer waves during a 100 years of Centre Court celebration on day seven of the … [+] Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) ASSOCIATED PRESS Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon on Sunday wearing a dark suit and looking like James Bond. Next year he hopes to be