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There's a unit inside Amazon that will be a $31 billion business in four years, RBC says

Key Points
  • "We believe Amazon Business has largely been ignored by investors," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said.
  • The unit is Amazon's business-to-business marketplace, serving a variety of customers from large companies to hospitals.
  • RBC estimates Amazon's business will see revenue reach $31 billion by 2023, as sales quintuple to $52 billion over the same period.
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RBC Capital thinks that there is a quickly growing but overlooked part of Amazon's business – namely, Amazon Business – with revenue that will exceed more than $30 billion in just a few years.

"We believe Amazon Business has largely been ignored by investors," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note on Friday.

The unit is Amazon's business-to-business, or B2B, marketplace, serving a variety of customers from large companies to hospitals, as well as schools and colleges. Amazon Business has a wide variety of offerings, as customer options range from specific industrial products to as broad as office supplies.

"With GMV [gross merchandise volume] over $10B and growing faster than Amazon's Retail and AWS segments, it continues to gain market share while also triggering seismic changes to ecommerce business models across the industrial distributor landscape, with Underperform-rated Grainger still in the cross hairs," Mahaney said.

RBC estimates Amazon's business will see revenue reach $31 billion by 2023, as sales quintuple to $52 billion over the same period.

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Amazon launched the unit in 2015, with Mahaney noting that it hit $1 billion in sales its first year. RBC noted Amazon Business last year reached over 2 million customers around the globe, as well as more than 200,000 sellers offering hundreds of millions of products.

Amazon Business has also outstripped its retail e-commerce business and even cloud unit Amazon Web Services (AWS) in growth, RBC said. Mahaney estimated that Amazon Business' 115% compound annual growth rate over three years was faster than both the retail business, at 28%, as well as AWS, at 48%.

"We believe Amazon is well positioned to gain market share," Mahaney added.

RBC estimates the total addressable B2B market is $67 trillion, nearly three times the size of the global retail market. The firm says the B2B world is "inefficiently served," citing in part a relatively low amount of online sales.

"Amazon has the right competencies—substantial competences include logistics, large scale, loyal customer base, and technology infrastructure," Mahaney said.

RBC has an outperform rating on Amazon's stock.

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– CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.