Internet giant Google Inc. has quietly launched a new food delivery and home services application called the Google Areo in categories which have been particularly affected by a slowdown in funding and seen multiple start-ups shut down for want of funds in the recent past.
Google launched it without any official Statement. Currently, The app only works in Bangalore and Mumbai, India, allowing users to order meals from nearby restaurants or schedule appointments with local service professionals, including electricians, painters, cleaners, plumbers, and more.
With Areo, Google is basically acting as the middleman – that is, it’s not running its own food delivery or home services business, but is rather working with service providers in the area.
Google has partnered with companies such as Box8, Freshmenu, and Faasos for food delivery and UrbanClap and Zimmber for home services.
A company spokesperson said in an email to mint,
“We are constantly experimenting with ways to better serve our users in India. In this case, Aero makes everyday chores and ordering food easier by bringing together useful local services like ordering food or hiring a cleaner in one place.”
Google will not deploy delivery executives or home services professionals of its own to service the orders. The partners will handle fulfillment of the services, while Google will charge them a commission.
However, by aggregating it all in one place like this, Google may well make it easier to switch away from services you’re loyal to, and to try out more, new things. A regular Faasos customer might start ordering from Freshmenu because those items are displayed in the same place – or vice versa.
Google also isn’t the only major tech company to try to make ordering home services something that can be done from your phone. Amazon, too, operates a Home Services business where customers can search and book with area pros for things like home theater installation, home improvement, assembly, house cleaning, lawn care, and more.
The Areo app is live in the Google Play Store, but only available in Bangalore and Mumbai in India. Google has not announced its plans to bring it to other markets at this time.