Google Hires Tech Team From Homejoy, Readies Leap Into Home Services Market

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Google Hires Tech Team From Homejoy, Readies Leap Into Home Services Market

Post by Moderator1 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:33 am

Google is preparing to stomp into yet another market: Home services. To do so, the search giant is scooping up the technical team behind Homejoy, the startup that connected online users with professional cleaners.

As Re/code reported today, Homejoy will cease operations at the end of the month in the wake of multiple employee reclassification lawsuits. Around 20 members of Homejoy’s product and engineering team will be joining Google to build out the company’s technology for matching local professionals — lawn mowers, painters, plumbers, cleaners and the like — with online users, according to sources.

Google confirmed that it was hiring a portion of Homejoy’s staff, but declined to comment further. Homejoy didn’t respond to request for comment. Sources said Homejoy’s current platform will be shuttered.

Homejoy had amassed a $40 million war chest in funding, from investors including Google Ventures. The startup’s primary business involves taking a cut of the transaction of the home service connections it orchestrated.

Handy, which is Homejoy’s biggest competitor, and Thumbtack, which Google Capital funds, operate with similar models. Both will have to reckon with Google’s new interest in the space, along with companies like Yelp and Angie’s List. Google had set out to enter this business earlier this year, as reported by BuzzFeed. And there’s also Amazon, which launched its own online portal for home services earlier this year, in partnership with startups and service providers such as TaskRabbit and Pep Boys.

Google did not comment on which team the Homejoy engineers would join, but it’s likely the company will deploy their expertise inside search. So here’s what it could look like: Type in a search query for a cleaner to come to your house; rather than send you to third-party sites, Google would bake the options directly into the top of results.

In recent years, Google has been accused of using its search dominance to move into other markets, launching comparative services for flights and hospitality. A product allowing searchers to compare housing mortgages is set to arrive soon. Earlier this week, the company released a slew of mobile search features to bolster its position in online retail.

On Thursday, Google announced $14.35 billion in second-quarter sales, topping expectations and sending its stock on the biggest one-day rally ever. New CFO Ruth Porat, on the earnings call, noted her commitment to financial discipline, but also told investors that Google would continue to invest in engineering talent.
http://recode.net/2015/07/17/google-hires-homejoys-technical-team-to-build-its-own-home-services-marketplace/

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