First Analysis Securities Corp. analyst Todd Van Fleet is bullish on the opportunity: "I think Google and Amazon are both well positioned to address the home-services market. The question is whether there's a multitude of players. The obvious answer is yes. It's a huge marketplace."
But Doshi is skeptical about Google's ability to win this battle: "Google has always had issues on the local side, and Amazon is coming at this market with a unique value proposition (high quality and guaranteed price)."
Both Google and Amazon are entering a crowded marketplace, competing with well-funded and established start-ups: "We think Home Advisor, Thumbtack, TalkLocal or some of the other unique start-ups could be in a position to take share," said Doshi.
Six-year-old Thumbtack is building a war chest to fight the rising competition, and CEO Marco Zappacosta says growth is strong. His biggest challenge is keeping up with demand: "We're actually supply constrained; we have more demand than we can fulfill." The company announced on Tuesday that it had raised $125 million at a valuation of $1.3 billion from investors that included Baillie Gifford, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and Google Capital.
This story has been updated to reflect that Thumbtack's CEO is Marco Zappacosta.