Top mobility VCs discuss their current investment strategies

The mobility industry is rapidly shifting to readjust for an electric and autonomous future.

Automotive companies are increasingly looking outside the manufacturing sector to fuel growth, and companies that used to bank on selling vehicles are now building mobility apps, scooters, and subscription services. Detroit is turning to to Silicon Valley for fresh ideas while Silicon Valley is studying Detroit for proven methods.

We surveyed top VCs in the mobility sector to see where they’re putting their money, and one thing quickly became apparent — investors are funding startups that bring connectivity to mobility. From automobile components to social apps, connectivity is critical to investors and the industry alike.

Reilly Brennan, general partner, Trucks VC
Michael Granoff, managing partner, Maniv Mobility
Jim Adler, founding managing director, Toyota AI Ventures
Dr. Ulrich Quay, managing partner, BMW i Ventures

Answers were edited for clarity.

Reilly Brennan, general partner, Trucks VC

Where are you investing in the automotive space?

We invest in startups that make transportation safer, cleaner, and more accessible. Anything that moves goods or people is interesting to us. We are first interested in exceptional founders, then exceptional ideas. For example, we just invested in a new type of car wash that doesn’t use any soap or chemicals; although it was never our intent to seek out that idea, we really believed in the founders’ vision for making it happen.

Which areas in automotive offer the most opportunity for startups?

There are many big opportunities across transportation — such is the case when you’re operating in markets measured in trillions. Right now, I am more convinced than ever that there is a 10-figure opportunity for a new navigation app — it’s one of the few/only transportation-related apps on everyone’s home screen. Still, the leaders are mostly incumbents (Apple Maps, Google Maps), where the products are good but haven’t made fundamental leaps in years or an app like Waze, which is high utility but low user experience. Other than YouTube, Waze is probably Google’s only social network, although I doubt they think of it like that. For how important navigation is and will be, we’ve been surprised more founders don’t create more there because the value is high. If you are working on something in this space, please email me! [email protected]

What makes a startup attractive for investment from OEMs?
Most OEMs are interested in companies that support their future product vision. Every once in a while, you will find an OEM with an alternative strategy that does not invest in supporting their products, but these are quite rare. As a result, startups who are actively selling in the auto supply chain are the best positioned for auto investment. Remember that many OEMs passed on investing in Uber in the early days.

Dr. Ulrich Quay, managing partner, BMW i Ventures

Israeli seed fund Remagine is financing media’s AI revolution

While large entertainment companies scramble to catch up to streaming content platforms, more fundamental upheaval is headed their way as a result of technological advances in artificial intelligence and 5G. 

Former ProSiebenSat.1 executive Kevin Baxpehler (based in Tel Aviv) and former Google Ventures partner Eze Vidra (based in London) launched Remagine Ventures earlier this year with a $35 million fund that bridges the gap between technologists at the forefront of change and the largest owners of content.

Backed by a roster of multi-billion-dollar media companies in Europe, Asia and the U.S. as its limited partners, their firm operates independently (and focuses on financial return) but aims to provide strategic value to portfolio companies and insight into the future for its LPs. Vidra referred to it as “a multi-corporate Google Ventures type of model.”

The firm’s focus on entertainment technologies has a B2B bent, with a geographic focus on Israel as its primary hub and with most of its initial portfolio selling to enterprise media companies. That makes Remagine’s ability to guide entrepreneurs through the halls of traditional media giants highly relevant; it also means it can gauge whether traditional media companies are likely to buy a startup’s product before they invest.

I spoke with Baxpehler and Vidra to learn more about their playbook and why they believe a wave of entertainment tech companies is about to come out of Israel. Here’s the transcript of our conversation (edited for length and clarity):

Eric Peckham: Are there specific investment theses within entertainment that you are hunting for startups in?

Kevin Baxpehler: Our investment thesis is based on two main drivers: new advancements in so-called AI technologies — specifically deep-learning, computer-vision and NLP — coupled with new consumer trends such as esports, visual search, and engaging with computer-generated imagery (CGI) like Lil Miquela. 

We believe that recent technological developments such as GANs (generative adversarial networks), coupled with new powerful computing power like new microprocessing chips and 5G, will change how brands, consumers, and stars/influencers will all interact. It creates tremendous opportunities to invest. 

Eze Vidra: Remagine Ventures invests independently in seed and pre-seed startups at the intersection of entertainment, tech, data and commerce. Seed investing is particularly hard for corporates to do directly (because of a combination of reasons including speed, signaling risk and the challenges of deal flow for corporates) so we specialise at that stage by sourcing real time feedback from the market. 

We are seeing industries and disciplines converge and find the intersections to be the most ripe areas of opportunity. For example, content + commerce, AI + entertainment, gaming + live stream tech giving us esports as a cultural phenomenon changing consumer behaviour.

Give me some examples of what startups at these intersection points will look like.

Vidra: The two core tenants of our thesis are 1) changing consumer behavior — for example, how esports is moving young viewers to engage with gaming — and 2) new technologies that make new forms of entertainment possible, primarily driven by AI.

Our portfolio company Syte is an image-recognition and computer-vision company that recognizes the products inside images and videos with a very high degree of accuracy. They are working with top retailers globally and Samsung selected them to power the Bixby assistant and is rolling them out globally. It’s been tried before, but the difference with Syte’s product is the level of accuracy. 

We invested in HourOne, which is a synthetic video company using generative adversarial networks to generate video without the camera. It has multiple use cases, from reducing the cost of video production to programmatic video, to text-to-speech to gaming. 

Another example is Vault, which uses deep learning to predict the success of scripted projects, whether it’s movies or TV shows down to the box office opening Rotten Tomatoes scores, the probability of there being a season two, the demographics that are most impacted, etc. So bringing a more data-driven approach to marketing films and shows.

Being vertically-focused means that we can attract relevant dealflow from both entrepreneurs and co-investors. As we evaluate startups, we look for interesting teams that are leveraging new technology (or taking an interesting consumer angle) that can scale and we focus on helping them open doors internationally. 

To what extent is your interest focused on startups selling their technology to enterprise media companies versus startups building tools for the broader landscape of small content creators?

Google Maps adds more Waze-like features, including driving-incident reports

Google Maps is starting to look a lot more like Waze. Google today announced a series of new features that will allow drivers using the Maps app on iOS to report accidents, speed traps and traffic jams. And on both iOS and Android, users will be able to report other driving hazards and incidents, like road construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles and objects in the road — like debris. These are all core Waze features and among the primary reasons why many users opt for Waze over Google Maps.

Google had already offered accident, speed trap and traffic slowdown reports on Android before today.

The new updates follow a steady launch of Waze-like additions to the Google Maps app.

For example, Google launched speed limits and speed trap alerts in more than 40 countries in Google Maps back in May. And it had been testing various driving hazard alerts before now. Google Maps also previously adopted other Waze features, like the ability to add a stop to your route while in navigation mode, or the ability to view nearby gas prices.Mid trip UGC ReportWhen you’re navigating your route in Google Maps, you can tap to add a report, then choose from a long list that now includes: Crash, Speed Trap, Slowdown, Construction, Lane Closure, Disabled vehicle and Object on Road.

With the additions, Google is chipping away at the many reasons why people still turn to Waze.

However, Waze is still better for planning a trip by connecting to your personal calendar or Facebook events, while Google Maps has instead focused more on helping users plan their commutes. Waze also is more social and includes a carpooling service.

The benefit of more users switching to Maps means more aggregate data to help power Google’s other products. Data collection from Google Maps is behind features like those that show the wait times, popular times and visit duration at local businesses, for example. Plus, Google Maps is a jumping off point for Google’s My Business platform, which has more recently been challenging Facebook Pages by allowing Maps users to follow their favorite businesses to track promotions and events, and even message the businesses directly.

Google says the new Google Maps features start rolling out globally on Android and iOS this week.

On-demand parking startup SpotHero raises $50 million

SpotHero, the Chicago-based company that has developed an on-demand parking app, has raised $50 million in a Series D round led by Macquarie Capital.

Union Grove Venture Partners participated in the round, along with existing investors including Insight Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, OCA Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and others, according to the company. SpotHero has raised $118 million to date.

The new capital will be used to expand its reach in the 300 U.S. and Canadian cities where it is already operating, build out its digital platform and strengthen partnerships with mobility companies, CEO and co-founder Mark Lawrence told TechCrunch.

SpotHero, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, initially set out to develop software that connects everyday drivers to parking spots in thousands of garages across North America.

It’s secret sauce is its software, which can sit on top of the 40 or so different point-of-sales systems used by parking garages. This acts as a single protocol, allowing SpotHero to bring some kind of standardization to an otherwise fragmented system. From this single protocol, SpotHero can add in features that will allow for automated parking services such as license plate recognition.

“We’ve built the pipes, so to speak, and this powers out consumer app,” Lawrence said in a recent interview. Now the company is focus is on building out partnerships, features in the software and services, he added.

Capital will also be used to hire talent to support these new endeavors. SpotHero has 210 employees today and is working on hiring 50 more engineers this year.

In the eight years since its founding, SpotHero has expanded beyond its core consumer-focused compentcy. The company has added other services as urban density has increased and on-street parking has become more jumbled and confused thanks to an increase in traffic, ride-hailing and on-demand delivery services that take up valuable curb space. It has locked in more than 900 distribution partnerships and integrations including Google Assistant, for voice-enabled parking and Waze in-app navigation to parking. Other partners include Hertz and car2go for fleet parking, WeWork, for commuter parking and Moovit, for multi-modal parking.

Most recently, SpotHero launched a new service dubbed “SpotHero for Fleets” that targets shared mobility and on-demand services.

The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day within SpotHero’s large network of 6,500 garages across 300 cities. That means everything from managing the relationships between garage owners and the fleet companies to proper signage so car-sharing customers can find the vehicles, as well as flexible plans that account for seasonal demands on businesses.

Under the new service, customers are able to source and secure parking inventory in high-traffic areas across multiple cities and pay per use across multiple parking facilities on one invoice to streamline payments. 

The company has signed on car-sharing companies and other commercial fleets, although it’s not naming them yet.

How parking app SpotHero is preparing for an era of driverless cars

On-demand parking app SpotHero wants to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles are ubiquitous. Its strategy: target the human-driven car-sharing fleets today.

The Chicago-based company, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, has launched a new service dubbed SpotHero for Fleets that targets shared mobility and on-demand services.

The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day within SpotHero’s large network of 6,500 garages across 300 cities.

That means everything from managing the relationships between garage owners and the fleet companies to proper signage so car-sharing customers can find the vehicles, as well as flexible plans that account for seasonal demands on businesses.

Under the new service, customers are able to source and secure parking inventory in high-traffic areas across multiple cities and pay per use across multiple parking facilities on one invoice to streamline payments. 

The service also aims to solve the crux of accessing commercial garages, Elan Mosbacher, SpotHero’s head of strategy and operations, said in a recent interview.

“How does a car get in and out of the garage when the driver driving that car isn’t necessarily the one paying for the parking?,” Mosbacher asked rhetorically. The service provides access to gated parking facilities to provide more pickup and drop-off points for shared cars.

The company’s core competency — its bread and butter since launching in 2011 — has been directed at connecting everyday drivers to parking spots in thousands of garages across North America.

That focus has expanded in the past eight years, with the company adding other services as urban density has increased and on-street parking has become more jumbled and confused thanks to an increase in traffic, ride-hailing and on-demand delivery services that take up valuable curb space.

“Our platform has evolved as more trends emerge around everything from connected cars to urban mobility apps to fleets to autonomous vehicles more and more companies are reaching out to us about how to leverage our network and our API to service parking from their interface to their audience of drivers,” said Mosbacher.

For instance, just last month, SpotHero announced it was integrating Waze, the navigation app owned by Google, into its app to help customers find the best and most direct route to their pre-booked parking spot. The company has also partnered with Moovit as well as expanded into the corporate world with firms such as the Associated Press, Caterpillar and US Cellular.

SpotHero could continue to scale up with this consumer-focused business model. However, the company saw two overlapping opportunities that center around car-sharing fleets.

In the past year, SpotHero has been approached by a number of autonomous vehicles companies acknowledging that one day they’re going to have to solve parking, Mosbacher said. But these companies aren’t even ready to launch pilot programs.

The company realized there was a use case and an opportunity today for human-driven car-sharing fleets.

“What we’re doing now is leveraging our network of services, hardware and software to solve a number of business problems around car-sharing fleets we the hope that the technology, infrastructure improves and accelerates to a point when autonomous vehicles are capable of parking using our network,” Mosbacher said.

That opportunity is poised to get a lot wider in the next decade. Deloitte predicts that by 2030 shared vehicles will overtake personally owned vehicles in urban areas. As car-share fleets grow, companies are increasingly tasked with solving for complex parking needs at scale, according to SpotHero.

The company has signed on car-sharing companies and other commercial fleets, although it’s not naming them yet.

The business of parking — and its potential to tap fleets of human-driven and someday even driverless vehicles — has attracted venture funds. SpotHero has raised $67.6 million to date.

And there’s good reason investors and parking app companies like SpotHero are jumping in to “solve parking.” A study by Inrix released in 2017 found that, on average, U.S. drivers spend 17 hours per year searching for parking at a cost of $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions.

Waze now shows road toll prices along your driving route

Navigation app Waze is making getting to where you’re going even easier – or at least more transparent. A new feature rolling out today will show you any tolls along your route, including the actual amount you’re going to pay, across both the U.S. and Canada.

This is above and beyond what you’ll get in most navigation apps, where you might get a visual or text indicator that there is a toll on one of the roads in your path (and you can opt to avoid them if possible) but you won’t know what you’re actually paying. With Waze, you’ll get the amount – sourced from its community of user drivers, rather than direct from the official toll road operators, however, but Waze’s crowd-sourced navigation data often has a leg up on the official source in other cases.

Waze will show you the toll prices up front, too, before the navigation actually gets under way, which is great because that’s when you actually have the opportunity to do something about it, whether it’s scrounging seat cushion change or just choosing to drive a different way.

This will be rolling out beginning today, so keep an eye out if you’re trying to get somewhere in the U.S. or Canada.

Meet TezLab, the Fitbit for Tesla vehicles

Some of the best real-time insights into Tesla and its global fleet of electric vehicles — outside the confines of its Silicon Valley headquarters — might be through the lens of TezLab, a tiny upstart in Brooklyn.

Now, a little more than two years after its founding, TezLab is on the verge of hitting what its founders believe is a tipping point of users, a milestone that could finally trigger a path to monetization. And it’s adding lots of new features to help accelerate that plan.

For the non-Tesla owner, the name TezLab is likely a foreign one. In certain circles though, namely Tesla owners obsessed with understanding how their electric vehicle performs, TezLab is a familiar friend.

Tezlab is a free app that’s like a Fitbit for a Tesla vehicle. Tesla owners who download the app can track their efficiency, total trip miles and use it to control certain functions of the vehicle, such as locking and unlocking the doors and heating and air conditioning. There’s even a gamification piece that lets users earn badges for hitting milestones or completing tasks.

The company has started to add new features as part of a longer term plan aimed at monetization.

One of these features, which crowdsources data like Waze to give insights and ratings on Tesla Supercharger stations, is rolling out now. The video below shows how this supercharger feature will function.

The Waze for supercharger feature is considered “phase one” of the company’s plans to broaden its crowdsourcing and social community.

Origin story

The six-person team behind TezLab was born out of HappyFunCorp, a software engineering shop that builds apps for mobile, web, wearables and Internet of Things devices for clients that include Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, as well as an array of startups.

HFC’s engineers, including co-founders Ben Schippers and William Schenk, were attracted to Tesla largely because of its techcentric approach and one important detail: the Tesla API endpoints are accessible to outsiders.

The Tesla API is technically private. But it exists, allowing Tesla’s own first-party app to communicate with the cars to do things like read battery charge status and lock doors. When reverse-engineered, it’s possible for a third-party app to communicate directly with the API. (Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked recently about opening up the API to third-party developers)

“Essentially, the plumbing is already built to connect to the server,” Schippers told TechCrunch recently. “This was the catalyst for us.”

A Tesla vehicle buying trend was triggered at HFC. Schippers, Schenk and a number of other software engineers and staffers at HFC bought, and still own, Tesla vehicles like the Model 3. The company’s HFC fund provided the initial $350,000 to build the first version of TezLab.

Repository of data

TezLab hasn’t captured anywhere near every Tesla owner. But Schippers believes they’re getting close to reaching a critical mass of users. More than 200 owners are downloading the app each week, and that rate is accelerating, he said.

TezLab has 16,000 total installs on the Apple App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower . The figures are all unique, new installs. The firm doesn’t count re-installs or downloads to multiple devices belonging to the same user. However, that total install number is likely closer to 18,000 because many are listed under TestFlight, an online service used to test apps.

In comparison, Tesla delivered 245,506 vehicles globally in 2018. TezLab doesn’t expect every Tesla owner to download the app. Instead, Schippers is initially aiming for 10% of owners — a target he believes is within reach — and eventually higher.

Even at its current numbers, TezLab has become a massive repository of Tesla data. The company is storing between 850,000 to 1 million events a day, and that volume is growing. That translates to more than 1 GB of data a day, according to Schippers.

“We now have enough data in our system to start making large assumptions of what the fleet is doing and why,” said Schippers, who is CEO of HappyFunCorp and head of product at TezLab.

tezlab

The data is aggregated and anonymous and isn’t shared publicly. And there are no plans to sell that data.

“I think we can create something really meaningful, without getting into the business of selling data,” Schippers told TechCrunch.

Of course, what Schippers and others at TezLab have built could, theoretically, end overnight if Tesla were to change access.

Tesla could do to us what Facebook did to Zynga, and we don’t want that,” Schippers said.

Tesla declined to comment on this topic.

What TezLab does provide publicly on its website are insights based on that crunched data. For instance, anyone visiting the site can get a breakdown of model ownership, the average trip length and average time between plugging in.

As the company adds more features to the app, an understanding of how people use their Tesla vehicles should deepen.

In the background, of course, TezLab knows more than what it shows on its website. It can quickly spot phantom drain issues, if the Tesla API goes offline or chart spikes in charging use. For instance, Tezlab was able to determine that visits to Tesla Supercharger stations were 84% higher on Memorial Day than on an average day in 2019.

The Strava model

Capturing and storing that data is at the core of TezLab’s plan to make money. The app will remain free even as more features are added.

The company plans to follow the business model of the social fitness network Strava,  which is charge for storage, not features. That data could become a lot more valuable to owners as new features are added. TezLab is looking at tracking Autopilot miles and is looking into doing “interesting stuff with Sentry mode,” the security feature now live in Tesla vehicles.

This summer, the app will introduce clubs that Schippers hopes will build up the community. The feature will let Tesla owners join a specific club, say in Norway, Brooklyn or San Francisco. It will be designed so owners can easily find and converse with other owners. And Schippers added, only people who own Tesla are allowed in.

TezLab’s staff puts itself squarely in the “protector of the realm” category when it comes to Tesla. In the end, all of this is to help Tesla succeed, said Schippers.

“We look at what Fitbit did for walking and exercise and motivation,” he said. “And we’ll bring that to the space of electric vehicles.”

Google Assistant comes to Waze navigation app

Ever since Google acquired Waze back in 2013, features from each have been slowly making their way back and forth between it and Google Maps – and today Waze gets a big upgrade with Google Assistant integration, which means you can use the smart voice companion within the app.

Google Assistant in Waze will provide access to your usual Assistant features, like playback of music and podcasts, but it’ll also offer access to many Waze-specific abilities, including letting you asking it to report traffic conditions, or specifying that you want to avoid tolls when routing to your destination.

Google has done a good job of rolling out support for Assistant in its own Android Auto in-car software, and even brought it to Google Maps on Apple’s competing CarPlay system earlier this year. The benefits of having Assistant work natively within Waze are many, but the number one might be its potential to reduce distractions while on the road.

Waze remains a top choice among drivers, and anecdotally most Uber and Lyft drivers I encounter still swear by its supremacy over the competition, including Google’s other own-branded Maps solution.

Google Assistant will be available via a roll-out starting today in the U.S., in English only to start and on Android smartphones. Expect that availability to expand over time.

The Exit: an AI startup’s McPivot

Five years ago, Dynamic Yield was courting an investment from The New York Times as it looked to shift how publishers paywalled their content. Last month, Chicago-based fast food king McDonald’s bought the Israeli company for $300 million, a source told TechCrunch, with the purpose of rethinking how people order drive-thru chicken nuggets.

The pivot from courting the grey lady to the golden arches isn’t as drastic as it sounds. In a lot of ways, it’s the result of the company learning to say “no” to certain customers. At least, that’s what Bessemer’s Adam Fisher tells us.

The Exit is a new series at TechCrunch. It’s an exit interview of sorts with a VC who was in the right place at the right time but made the right call on an investment that paid off. 

Fisher

Fisher was Dynamic Yield founder Liad Agmon’s first call when he started looking for funds from institutional investors. Bessemer bankrolled the bulk of a $1.7 million funding round which valued the startup at $5 million pre-money back in 2013. The firm ended up putting about $15 million into Dynamic Yield, which raised ~$85 million in total from backers including Marker Capital, Union Tech Ventures, Baidu and The New York Times.

Fisher and I chatted at length about the company’s challenging rise and how Israel’s tech scene is still being underestimated. Fisher has 11 years at Bessemer under his belt and 14 exits including Wix, Intucell, Ravello and Leaba.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity. 


Saying “No”

Lucas Matney: So, right off the bat, how exactly did this tool initially built for publishers end up becoming something that McDonalds wanted?

Adam Fisher: I mean, the story of Dynamic Yield is unique. Liad, the founder and CEO, he was an entrepreneur in residence in our Herzliya office back in 2011. I’d identified him earlier from his previous company, and I just said, ‘Well, that’s the kind of guy I’d love to work with.’ I didn’t like his previous company, but there was something about his charisma, his technology background, his youth, which I just felt like “Wow, he’s going to do something interesting.” And so when he sold his previous company, coincidentally to another Chicago based company called Sears, I invited him and I think he found it very flattering, so he joined us as an EIR.

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Google, Amazon and Facebook

The influential Massachusetts Senator and Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been a longtime critic of the consolidation of economic power by Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Now she’s making their break-up a key component of her Presidential platform.

Warren has just released her plan for breaking up big tech, in what seems like a watershed moment for a Democratic nominee. Since Al Gore famously (infamously?) “invented the internet”, Democratic candidates have turned away from serious regulation of technology companies, preferring instead to receive their campaign contributions.

Eric Schmidt and Google donors were hugely important to the Obama campaign, and big tech companies were among his biggest supporters.

Now, Warren has said (on Medium no less) that the massive market power that Google, Facebook, and Amazon wield is a threat and will be treated accordingly.

“Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist,” writes Warren. “Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.”

The parallel she uses to make her case is the breakup of Microsoft, which she weirdly calls “the tech giant of its time” (Microsoft is still a tech giant), and holds as perhaps the last example when government went toe to toe with the technology industry.

“The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge,” Warren writes.

But now the companies that flourished in the wake of the Microsoft case have, themselves, become too powerful, she argues.

“They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation,” writes Warren.

The key components of the Warren plan include passing legislation that would designate companies with annual global revenue above $25 billion that provide marketplace, exchange, or third-party connectivity as “platform utilities” and prohibit those companies from owning participants on their platforms.

It’s a dragnet that now encompasses Alphabet and Amazon (but I don’t think it touches Facebook?). The new law would also be required to meet a standard of fair and non-discriminatory use with their users, and platforms would be restricted from sharing user data with third parties.

For companies with revenues below $25 billion, they’d be required to adhere to the fair use standard.

Warren would give state attorneys general and private parties the right to sue a platform for conduct that violates those requirements and the government could fine a company 5% of their annual revenue for violating the terms of the new legislation.

As Warren notes, “Amazon Marketplace, Google’s ad exchange, and Google Search would be platform utilities under this law. Therefore, Amazon Marketplace and Basics, and Google’s ad exchange and businesses on the exchange would be split apart. Google Search would have to be spun off as well.”

The part of Warren’s plan would be the rollback of acquisitions that Warren deems anti-competitive. In Amazon’s case that means Whole Foods and Zappos, would have to be spun back out. Alphabet would have to unwind Google’s acquisitions fo Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick (but not YouTube?), and Facebook would have to part with WhatsApp and Instagram.

“Unwinding these mergers will promote healthy competition in the market — which will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy,” Warren writes.

Her call for regulation is a big moment for the tech industry, it should also serve as a wake-up call for these companies to do more than just pay lip service to the problems their dominance is causing in the marketplace.