GoogleÂ is preparing toÂ stomp into yet another market: Home services. To do so, the search giant is scooping up the technical team behind Homejoy,Â the startup that connected online users with professional cleaners.
As Re/code reported today, Homejoy will cease operations at the end of the monthÂ in the wake of multiple employee reclassification lawsuits.Â Around 20 members ofÂ Homejoyâ€™s product and engineering team will be joining Google to build out the companyâ€™s technology for matching localÂ professionalsÂ â€” lawn mowers, painters, plumbers, cleaners and the like â€” with online users, according to sources.
Google confirmed that it was hiring a portion of Homejoyâ€™s staff, but declined to comment further.Â Homejoy didnâ€™t respond to request for comment. Sources said Homejoyâ€™s current platform will be shuttered.
Homejoy had amassed a $40 million war chest in funding, from investors including Google Ventures. The startupâ€™sÂ primary business involves taking a cut of the transaction of theÂ home service connectionsÂ it orchestrated.
Handy, which is Homejoyâ€™s biggest competitor, andÂ Thumbtack, whichÂ Google Capital funds, operate with similar models. Both will have to reckon with Googleâ€™s new interest in the space, along with companies like Yelp and Angieâ€™s List. Google had set out to enter this business earlier this year, as reported by BuzzFeed. And thereâ€™s alsoÂ 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 itâ€™s likely the company will deploy their expertise insideÂ search. So hereâ€™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 ofÂ results.
In recent years, Google has been accused of using itsÂ search dominanceÂ 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.Â Earlier this week, the company releasedÂ a slew of mobile searchÂ featuresÂ toÂ bolster its position in online retail.
On Thursday, GoogleÂ 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.