The app’s description goes as follows – “Food delivery from your favourite restaurants, providers and chefs. Home services from local electricians, painters, cleaners, plumbers and more.”
So one can order food from Faasos or FreshMenu or a plumber from UrbanClap together at one place. The payment methods listed include card, net banking, or cash on delivery. It’s not yet clear how Google aims to monetise from Areo.
Google has been bullish on India as a market in the last two years. At the second edition of its signature Google for India event last September, Google had announced five new products that were tailored for expanding access to the Internet for Indian users.
These comprised new products built specifically for India, such as YouTube Go, the Google Assistant in Hindi for Allo, faster browsing for Google Play on 2G connections, as well as new, global platforms inspired by the needs of Indian users such as the Google Station WiFi platform and new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.
In a similar move, Facebook had also quietly introduced a local services website in India last April to help customers discover the best-rated service providers in their vicinity. Users could opt for services including arts and marketing, automotive, business services, financial services, event planning, home improvement, lifestyle, medical and health, pet services, spa, beauty and personal care by logging on to facebook.com/services.
Hyperlocal services are a rage in India in the last few years. As per Inc42 Datalabs, over 400+ startups entered the hyperlocal market from 2011 to 2016, 193 of them were funded and raised more than $1 Bn in funding in total, and 100+ shut down. Cash burn and high customer acquisition cost were the main reasons behind the demise of many a startup in this segment.
In the food delivery segment, competition continues between Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda and a few others. Zomato recently declared its results for FY2017, indicating its inching close to profitability, as it witnessed an 81% drop in the annual operating burn for FY17 at $12 Mn compared to the $64 Mn in FY16.
We have reached out to Google for further details.