If there is one thing that is universal, no matter who you are, you’ve had an appliance break down at some point in your life. And, most likely, you had no idea how to fix it. Sometimes you can find the solution online, but mostly you’re just left in the dark and may wind up spending way too much money replacing something that can be easily fixed.
Online community based trouble-shooting website FixYa is debuting a video powered app for iPhone, the company announced Thursday. The app is designed to cut down on the time and effort it takes trying to get help fixing appliances that have broken down on the Internet.
The way the app works is that it will be a video based Q&A. Lets say, for example, that a person’s care breaks down on the side of the road. Instead of having to call AAA, and having their car towed to a garage, they can now take a video of the problem on their iPhone and upload it directly to FixYa. Then, other users and experts on FixYa, can view the video on either the app or on the website, and they can suggest solutions to the problem. Being an expert on FixYa is a distinction that is earned by repeatedly answering questions in a specific category.
What the new app does, FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon said in an interview with VatorNews, is “give users the ability to get solutions to their problems much easier,” by not requiring them to write out long descriptions. Instead its now visual, which takes the guesswork out of identifying the problem.
“In your home, or outside, it is now easier to articulate your issue visually.”
The FixYa app has 36 different categories, such as computers, phones, cars, washing machines, refrigerators, motorcycles, stereos and televisions.
Bensadon said that the 36 cateogories had been whittled down from over 6,000 that appear on the website, and that he hopes to expand the number of categories eventually, just not to that many.
While users could also put videos on the website, that was more was challenging process with more steps. The videos had to be shot, uploaded to YouTube and then linked into the post. This process is much smoother and more natural on a smartphone, Bensadon says.
It is for this reason that the app will only be available on the smartphone. It is less likely that people will use their iPad as a camera, says Bensadon, so the app on the tablet will just be a similar version of the website.
While the FixYa app is debuting on the iPhone right now, it will be available on the Android operating system within the next few months.
FixYa currently has over 25 million users per month, and 20% of those are through smartphones and the mobile website. By creating the video app, FixYa hopes to leverage those users into a larger distribution.
The company, which was founded in 2005 in Israel, has been profitable since 2009, and makes money by working with business who want to offer services to customers, as well as advertising from both large and local retailers.
San Mateo-based FixYa has been growing rapidly; only six months ago the site only had 400 categories. Bensadon attributes this growth to mobile, and hopes that with the new app the company will be able to grow 100% by next year, to 50 million users per month.
FixYa raised $8 million in 2007, the year that the company relocated to California, in two funds, from Mayfield Fund and Pitango Venture Fund, the largest VC in Israel.
(Image source: http://www.fixya.com/)