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Fix/Friday - July 31

GAFA goes to Washington

Bezos, Zuckerberg, Cook and Pichai were told they have ‘too much power’ when they all appeared (by video call) in Washington this week. The questioning was wide ranging but the two parties seemed to have different concerns; Democrats about the power of the businesses and the Republican about a left leaning bias. Lots more to play our here.

In the run up Jeff Bezos shared a really well crafted statement which is good insight into the Amazon business. It was felt he would face the most scrutiny given it was his first time at this sort of hearing.

Merchant

Building on our coverage of online grocery we see Amazon have announced an expansion of their Fresh grocery business - as one analyst puts it they are “hitting the nuclear button”. The service will drop the current monthly charge and expand beyond the 300 postcodes currently served. More on this from the Daily Mail

The share prices of all the supermarkets were hit by this but I think Ocado have the most to fear. All the services have ramped up over Covid and will want to hang on to their customers but Ocado are about to switch from Waitrose groceries to M&S. Many will switch to Waitrose delivery.

As this sector grows real estate firms are investing in cold storage spaces in anticipation. And in China, MissFresh, one of the leading grocery delivery firms, raised $495m

Another facet of food delivery that is booming is Meal Kits. Pioneers Gousto made as much money in the first half of this year as the whole of last and are to hire 1000 extra staff to help deal with this demand. Managing demand and avoiding churn drive Gousto to develop personalised repertoires of recipes as their CEO explains here.

This is good analysis of the move of delivery services into non food categories - looking at new partnerships for Postmates and Doordash

We predicted that Governments were coming to see digital businesses as the Golden Goose. Now the UK is considering an online sales tax - with speculation about a 2% levy and a tax on deliveries.

Some costs are going down - Google are dropping commissions for goods sold through its Buy from Google initiative. Few are convinced it’s much of a threat to Amazon and Instagram seems to be becoming an alternative ‘home’ for small businesses that may once have relied on Google and their business profile.

This is a good Economist article - via 2PM - The World’s Leading Brands Go DTC

And an investor in fast casual dining agrees with us that PE has got this sector wrong - he sees no future for them.

Voice

Do you worry that your smart speaker is spying on you? The clever people at MSCHF have your back with Alexagate - which uses ultrasonic to jam your Amazon Echo

Amazon is revamping the Alexa app and pushing more personalised services - and deprioritizing Skills - which have yet to really take off.

Check 1, 2, 3... Is this thing on? An explanation of cult voice app Clubhouse

Adtech

Our friends at Arete have shared their thinking on the demise of IDFA and its likely consequences in our Guild group. Well worth a read as is this column by Ari Paparo (CEO at Beeswax) on the same topic

Tiktok

With all the beef around TikTok, they have come out fighting, with a statement from their new CEO, extolling their virtues and calling out Facebook for their copycat products and;

maligning attacks by our competitor – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism

Another new Facebook tactic is offering big incentives for TikTok creators to switch to Reels. With the TikTok creators fund of $200m this risks becoming an expensive business.

We now have the video of our webinar on TikTok on YouTube - let me know if you would like to see it.

Plus

Omegle Is Where People Meet Online Now - random video chat is back

So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? - from the Harvard Business Review

Finally... this is the summer edition of Fix - written by the beach in St Ives -so slightly lighter weight. Our midweek deep dives continue to get great feedback. This week our look at newTV went deep with lots of data and insight - and also marked our new partnership with Samsung Ads - catch up here. Our latest partner on Fix Friday is Salesforce and Datorama and they have shared a good guide to marketing analytics - click here or on the banner.

And if you are interested in how a partnership might help your business, let’s talk.

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