Google told Re/code that it had hired around 20 members of Homejoy’s product and engineering team will be joining Google to build out the company’s technology for matching local professionals, such as lawn mowers, painters, plumbers and cleaners – with online users.
It sure seems that way. To do so, the search giant is scooping up the technical team behind Homejoy, the startup that connected online users with professional cleaners.
On Friday, Homejoy announced that it is shutting its doors and will cease operations on July 31.
Founders Adora Cheung and brother Aaron. Many new on-demand services, meanwhile, are opting out of contract work altogether in favor of traditional employment-hoping to provide better customer service, maintain good workers, and, perhaps most honestly, avoid Homejoy’s fate.
Google is preparing to stomp into yet another market: Home services.
The company had already been facing growth challenges, but CEO Adora Cheung said the “deciding factor” was the four lawsuits it was fighting over whether its workers should be classified as employees or contractors.
After the California Labor Commission’s decision to classify one Uber driver as an employee, more independent contractors are jumping into the ring and bringing cases forward.
Google confirmed that it was hiring a portion of Homejoy’s staff, but declined to comment further. Despite all of this, the company encountered significant difficulties raising funds for a Series C, which reportedly tied into the decision to close operations; the company had raised almost $40 million in funding to date from the likes of First Round Capital, Google Ventures, and Paypal founder Max Levchin.