It appears Google is about to enter the growing home services market. The search giant has snatched up roughly 20 employees from Homejoy, a startup that focused on pairing house cleaners with apartment-dwellers and homeowners. Google confirmed the hires to our sister site, Recode, just hours after Homejoy announced yesterday that it was closing shop for good at the end of the month.
Goodbye Homejoy, hello Google
Google has yet to announce any foray into home services, but Buzzfeed reported earlier this year that the company was working on a service that would connect local plumbers, cleaners, painters, and other workers with homeowners. The employees Google has picked up from Homejoy largely represent the startup's product and engineering teams, according to Recode. Their expertise could help Google build out its own service, which would likely pop up when a user searches for a plumber or cleaning person. Similar Google services already exist that let you compare prices for flights, hotels, and even car insurance when you search.
Homejoy launched in 2012 as a website designed to make it easier for people to find and schedule house cleanings from verified cleaners. More recently, it began to set up appointments for other tasks around the house, like carpet cleaning services and repairs from handymen. The startup faced stiff competition from sites like Handy, TaskRabbit, and, more recently, Amazon itself, which launched its own home services product just over a month ago. Homejoy's closure this month was related to issues raising enough funding and a number of lawsuits from its cleaners who claimed they should be treated as employees, not contractors.