Citing unnamed sources, the news service said Amazon in recent months "has reached out directly to service providers as well as to several startups in Seattle and San Francisco that already connect service providers to customers through their own websites and mobile applications. At least one of the startups contacted by Amazon focuses on home repair." But the only specific company it named was Thumbtack, a San Francisco-based company described as a matchmaker between consumers and 63,000 service providers including photographers, tutors, and others.
The report immediately set off speculation in the tech press. Geekwire noted that Amazon already has experimented with offering local services through a close partnership with LivingSocial, a company it invested in years ago and that mainly deals in spa, restaurant, and travel coupons. "But you could easily see how it could morph into more," Geekwire wrote. "One example Reuters gives is Amazon recently offering installation services to users who bought Nest thermostats." Mint.com added that Google also has a grocery delivery service in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.