Ask your average Israeli venture capitalist to name a few companies they’re keeping tabs on and Fixya usually makes the short list—so do Benchmark’s Conduit and Sequoia’s Kenshoo. If you haven’t heard of Fixya, the concept is real simple: It’s a post-sale tech support site. On the one side you have users who ask product support questions, and on the other are users who respond and help resolve said problems. In short, Fixya has managed to build itself up as a UGC powerhouse and is systematically milking the cow for all she’s worth. And now it’s adding yet another udder to milk—Product Recommendations and with that it’s delving into new territory, that of pre-purchase support. Not blown away are you? Understandable. That’s because you need to step back to appreciate just how big this here cow can grow and why VC’s are enamored with it.
Fixya’s site content now spans a staggering one million products, covering everything from electronics to baby strollers. The site is seeing 15M unique users (mostly English speaking) that generate 60M monthly page views. (ComScore shows half that, with 7.7M uniques visitors a month—see chart below). 250,000 questions are asked and answered per month—75% of the answers are rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ with 50% answered within 5-6 hours of posting. Interestingly, most questions are about usability issues rather than technical ones.
With its new Product Recommendations Fixya is leveraging the large amount of consumer feedback users are providing about products they already own in order to help other users considering buying the same ones. Recommendations are indicated with an overall thumbs-up/down, along with the number of users whose recommendation was rated as a thumbs-up (Fixya weights the user’s vote on product reliability, ease of use and overall value). There are also written recommendations that help users with deeper insights. The information is all there, but they could do a better job displaying it by taking a cue from Amazon.
The end game, explains CEO Yaniv Bensadon, is to establish a type of Net Promoter Score (which is a measure of customer loyalty) for products and their manufacturers. Assuming it can pull it off and traffic comes flooding in, Fixya can turn on an additional revenue stream by allowing its community of 250,000 experts to offer pre-sale support for a premium—this shouldn’t be too difficult seeing as it already does this with post-sale support. Theoretically should Fixya be able to establish the critical mass necessary, it could form a social commerce network, where consumers collaborate with each other on product-specific issues.
Back to why the VC’s are hot for Fixya. What’s admirable about the company and what keeps it glued to VC’s radars is its revenue potential. Here are a few fun Fixya facts:
So there you have it… A company that is able to transform user-generated content into a money making machine. It’s no wonder that Bensadon smiled and said ‘much higher’ when I mentioned to him that I keep hearing $60M as the company’s expected exit mark. You would be smiling too, wouldn’t you?