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InfoShot: If AWS was a separate company

It took nine years, but in April Amazon finally revealed the numbers behind its Amazon Web Services unit. In Q3, the public cloud service posted $2.1 billion in revenue and $521 million in profit – a 78% and 432% rise over last year respectively – and is the main driver behind the company’s recent profits.

Previous estimates valued the company from anything from $30 billion to around $70 billion. But now, according to Deutsche Bank, AWS may be worth almost as much as Amazon as a whole. "We conclude that a 2017 revenue multiple of 10x seems fair for AWS, which given our 2017 AWS revenue estimate of $16 billion implies a valuation of $160 billion," Tha bank said in a recent note. "Measured by revenues, AWS is approximately 6x larger than its biggest rival Microsoft Azure and is arguably the greatest disruptive force in the entire enterprise technology market today.”

For context, the current market cap for the entire Amazon business is currently $175 billion. A $160 billion valuation would put AWS on par with IBM and bigger than Intel or Cisco. And $10 billion revenue in just 10 years would also make AWS one of the fastest growing tech companies in history. Google made the 11-digit mark in 9, Facebook in 10, while Microsoft and Oracle took more than 20 years.

It’s hard not to now see Amazon as a “computing company with books”, but there will undoubtedly be a point where AWS is so much bigger than the retail units that investors will begin clamouring for the two to split. And you have to wonder whether Jeff Bezos would allow such a move to happen.

19-11-15-if-aws-was-a-separate-company

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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