Amazon’s answer to restaurant takeout and delivery services like Seamless, Grubhub, and DeliveryHero is now live.
The service appears to be part of Amazon’s newly launched local services marketplace, rivaling the likes of Yelp and Angie’s List. The e-retail giant, which operates its “Amazon Fresh” grocery delivery in select markets, has already expanded that service through its “Spotlight” system that includes ready-to-eat meals that are sometimes from restaurants.
“Amazon Local” went live this past weekend, though for now only in hometown Seattle, working with some 20 restaurants there.
Amazon is clearly aiming to work its economies-of-scale magic on local services. The somewhat-uncharacteristically quiet launches of these initiatives indicate that they remain experiments for the e-retailer. That's because services are tougher terrain than the e-retailer's massive e-commerce hub, or even its fulfillment network and cloud business.
But Amazon is nothing if not ambitious; TechCrunch notes that travel might be next. In fact, CEO/founder Jeff Bezos Tuesday defended not just Amazon's ambitions, but also its failures.
"We’re a large company, but in many ways because of all our emerging businesses, we’re still a startup," said Bezos, "and there’s a lot of volatility with startups.”