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Got a broken coffee maker? Then why don’t you grab your iPhone(s aapl), and tell us about it? That’s the idea behind a new iOS app released by product Q&A community FixYa Thursday. The app lets users record short videos about the issues they are having with various devices – and experts respond on video as well. The new video feature represents a big step into mobile for FixYa, and foreshadows an interesting monetization strategy.
FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon told me during a recent phone conversation that it was much easier to explain many device defects visually. That’s why he came up with the idea to leverage mobile phone cameras. “Show me what your problem is and I will show you the solution,” Bensadon said, adding that this will also help to grow FixYa’s video inventory beyond the iPhone app. “As soon as a question is posted, it’s gonna appear on the site,” he explained.
But the real goal of the new iPhone app and its video capturing capabilities is to grow FixYa’s mobile usage. The service currently attracts about 30 million users a month, 20 percent of which come from mobile. Bensadon is especially enthusiastic about the prospects of monetizing mobile users.
FixYa’s plan to make money with mobile comes down to one key issue: Even with videos, users won’t always be able to fix their appliances themselves. That’s why the app is going to give them recommendations for local retailers and service providers, complete with a click-to-call option. FixYa is piloting this option in California, where it started to build a local sales team, and it is looking to expand click-to-call to other regions early next year. “We see it as a huge opportunity,” Bensadon told me.
FixYa was founded in 2005 in Israel, and relocated its main office to the Bay Area in 2007. The company received a total of $8 million in funding from Mayfield Fund and Pitango Venture Capital.