Technology giant Google has launched a new food delivery and home services app for the India market, debuted Areo, marking its entry into the hyperlocal, on-demand services space in India. The app, which provides a range of services such as food delivery, home maintenance, fitness and electrical repairs, is operational in Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The app is currently available on Android. Areo is not a direct service provider but an aggregator of services from local on-demand players like UrbanClap, Zimmber, Freshmenu, Box8, Holachef and Faasos, enabling consumers to schedule food deliveries or book appointments from the app. Consumers can either pay online or use the cash on delivery mode in the Areo app to pay for these services.
Areo’s launch will enable Google to compete with rival Facebook that began experimenting with hyperlocal services in India last year. It could also potentially infuse some fresh air into the country’s online hyperlocal services market that has weathered multiple storms through the last year with many players shutting down operations while some others consolidating their operations.
Making its services available via the search giant’s offering should also open up a much larger audience for the partner firms and could pose serious competition to players like Zomato, Swiggy and Amazon-backed Housejoy, who are currently not present on Areo.
Google spokesperson told ETtech in a statement, “We are constantly experimenting with ways to better serve our
users in India. In this case, Areo makes everyday chores and ordering food easier by bringing together useful local services like ordering food or hiring a cleaner in one place.”
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, had told ET in an interview in January, “Increasingly, we realise that we can try things in India — it’s a quick test market — if it works, we can take it outside. Our experience with YouTube Offline worked well in India and we transitioned it to other countries.”