Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has acquired Twitch, a video platform and community for gamers, for $970 million in cash. It was rumored for the past few months that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) was in pursuit of Twitch until news broke of the deal with Amazon yesterday. The online retailer has made gaming a priority of late, bringing in developers to create new game titles for its Fire TV, Fire Phone and Kindle Fire Tablets. Twitch, formerly Justin.tv, had raised about $43 million in equity financing prior to the acquisition from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Associates and Thrive Capital; it was also a graduate of Y Combinator's accelerator program. Its most recent raise came in September 2013 when it brought in $20 million at a valuation of $117.4 million.
The acquisition is Amazon's second largest, eclipsed only by the November 2009 acquisition of Zappos.com for over $1.1 billion. Amazon has acquired 17 companies since then, five of them for $100 million+, including Quidsi, Goodreads and Kiva Systems.