Google silently launches hyperlocal platform Areo, but didn't we see this coming?

13th Apr 2017
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Sneakily on Wednesday, Google launched its new hyperlocal services app, Areo, on the Play Store, with plans to get food and home services to customers' doorsteps in Bengaluru and Mumbai.

It was reported that Areo has incorporated partners like UrbanClap (for a bouquet of home services), Zimmber, FreshMenu, Box8, and Faasos for food ordering.

Google Areo was launched on the Google Play Store on Wednesday.

According to the app description on the Play Store, the app enables customers to order for food or hyperlocal services, and book and schedule deliveries for a particular time of convenience, and also allows fast and secure checkout options for payment, .

AndroidSoul, a site that focuses on Android news, was the first to spot the app on the Play Store.

But this isn’t the first time a technology giant has set eyes on the Indian hyperlocal market. Last year, in April, the news came out that Facebook set foot into the hyperlocal services segment in India.

The move then by the networking giant was fairly discreet, allowing consumers to look for spas, pet services, and event planners on the page. Then, the line-up of services included plumbing, medical and health, arts and marketing, automotive (repair), business services, personal care (spas), and pet care, among several others.

Just in January this year, Google’s top boss Sundar Pichai arrived in India and spoke about the company’s Digital Unlocked programme. He said,

“Imagine if every single small business owner were to leverage the power of internet and information. The economy would simply boom. Google aims to give those businesses that power.”

Sundar Pichai

Looking farther down the line, Google Areo could serve as a complimentary cause to their Digital Unlocked programme. As a part of the programme, digital skill training will be provided to SME owners through sessions that will be FICCI and ISB certified. These provide owners with the information and knowledge of how mobile platforms, digital payments, and e-commerce work.

In the future, this might prompt the owners to list themselves on platforms like Areo, thus expanding Google’s hyperlocal network.

Further, over the past few months, Google has worked on Google Station, which provides high-speed Wi-Fi to over 110 of the busiest railway stations in the country.

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