GenieTown Launches To Tackle Local Services

Palo Alto-based Genie Town launches this morning. They’re trying to crack the local services nut – a huge market, but one that a lot of the big guys are eyeing, too.

The company says they are addressing the long tail of local services. The GenieTown site allows local service providers (plumbers, dentists, whatever) to put up a web presence. Users looking for providers can find them, based on their location and user rating.

The site competes on one end with services like (gulp) Google Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp and of course the Yellow Pages (both online and off). All of those services are great places to find local service providers.

Eventually GenieTown says they’ll integrate more closely with service providers to coordinate calendars and booking systems. At that point they’ll run into another group of competitors, including recently funded Liberysy.

If they are going to be successful in both carving out a niche and avoiding all those competitors, they’ll need to quickly get a lot of those service providers to start using their service. To concentrate their efforts they are rolling out the Bay Area only for now – service providers and users from anywhere can use the service, but the company will only market locally. They’ll grow from there.

And GenieTown is also trying to engage with users on more than just making introductions. The smartest part of the service, in my opinion, is a Q&A area that will do very will with search engine optimization.

The company has raised $2 million in a first round of funding from a number of angel investors, including Stanford professors Hassan Chafi (also the CEO) and Kunle Olukotun.