Google ventures into food ordering, home services with Areo app

Search engine giant Google Inc. has forayed into the hyperlocal space in India with the launch of Areo, an app that lets users order food and book home services from local electricians, painters and beauticians, among others, media reports said.

Available as a free download on Play Store, the app is currently operational in Mumbai and Bangalore, a blog called The Android Soul, which was the first to report the development, said.

Google has partnered with UrbanClap and Zimmber to aggregate home services and Freshmenu, Box8 and Faasos for food ordering, to offer its services on Areo, The Economic Times reported.

Users can search by dishes or restaurants and can also filter for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food options. Instead of using its own payment solution, Google has partnered with online payments gateway DirecPay, operated by Times of Money Ltd, the report added.

In September last year, Google had launched smart messaging app Allo, which competes with existing giants WhatsApp, iMessenger and Facebook Messenger. The app saw around 5 million downloads within a few days of the launch, but soon lost popularity as it did not have competing features.

In the same month, Google launched another app Google Trips to helps travellers plan and personalise trips.

In December last year, the company had reduced the size of its app updates by up to 65% using new software, saving data costs for users.

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