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Google starts hyperlocal services with its Areo app in Mumbai and Bengaluru

Google has quietly launched a food delivery and services app in India. The news was first reported by AndroidSoul. The company is yet to put out an official word on its blog or communication channels. Areo is available for download on the PlayStore and currently offers services in only certain localities in Mumbai and Bengaluru. The app features local restaurants, food delivery services, and home services such as carpentry, plumbing, electricals, etc. Users can pay for services and food deliveries using cards, net banking or pay cash on delivery of services.

Currently, Areo aggregates services from existing players such as UrbanClap and Zimmber. It also lets users order from quick service restaurants and food services such as Faasoos, Box8 and Freshmenu. It looks like Areo might be competing with JustDial which also aggregates listings for services, restaurants, and shops. But for now, JustDial seems to have an edge by being in the game earlier and having a lot more information about hyperlocal services.

Will Areo ruin Zomato party?

Although Areo is backed by Google’s bottomless pocket, with a low-key launch and services restricted to two Indian cities, it looks unlikely, at least, in the near future. Much will depend on how Areo positions itself and how it makes itself attractive to Indian users.

Zomato has food delivery services in India, Dubai and Philippines. But its main revenue comes from restaurant listing and advertising and it remains to be seen if Areo will starting eating into Zomato’s pie by listing local restaurants and treating them as ads.

Zomato’s ad sales accounted for $38 million in revenues in FY17 while, food ordering accounted for $9 million in revenues.  Gadgets 360 points out that it not clear how Google is making money here and whether Google and if there will be a commission on orders. But for now, Areo is basically bundling local services together into a single interface.

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