Fiix’s co-founder and CTO, Khallil Mangalji, doesn’t have a car. That’s not stopping him from trying to change the way people across Canada get their cars serviced.
“It’s an industry that’s pretty shady, hasn’t been revolutionised by tech yet, and as engineers, there’s so many opportunities where we can fix things,” Mangalji said.
Mangalji says that Fiix’s solution, launching today in Toronto after a beta trial, is to be “an Uber for mechanics,” bringing them directly to your door to service your car. The prospect of getting a broken car fixed or a healthy car serviced from the comfort of home – and away from a service center – sounds complex, but according to Mangalji the most common car work (new starter, battery, oil change, etc.) can be accomplished easily by a mechanic showing up with the right tools.
“The service manager’s job is literally to screw you.”
According to Mangalji, moving the mechanic out of the garage has additional benefits beyond convenience: specifically, getting mechanics away from service managers.
“The service manager’s job is literally to screw you,” Mangalji said. “These shops hire in order to screw you.”
Mangalji told BetaKit that the service manager’s role is focused on pushing mechanics to up-sell packages, make repairs that aren’t necessary, and generally confuse the process so customers are more willing to pay whatever is necessary to get their car on the road again.
Fiix says its mechanics don’t work on commission and thus have no incentive to up-sell. They also make more money, up to 200% more according to Mangalji. Cutting out the middle-man also reaps savings for customers, who paid approximately 30-50% less as part of Fiix’s beta.
Fiix is also hoping to fix what Mangalji calls a “broken relationship” between car owners and their mechanics by doubling-down on transparency. On the Fiix website, customers can pre-select specific repairs during their booking so they won’t have to worry about ‘mysterious issues’ popping up later. The site also features a cost calculator with job examples to avoid bill shock.
“We’re huge on trust,” Mangalji said, noting that less mechanically-inclined customers can also request a general inspection service from Fiix, where a mechanic will come to their home and teach them about what’s wrong with their car. If the car owner decides to get the repairs made with Fiix, the inspection is no cost.
Fiix currently has 8 mechanics on its platform, and is ready to service the GTA. Spinning up the service nationally will take time, but Fiix has the pedigree and some cash to start making it happen. The founding team is comprised of Apple, Google, Facebook, Instagram and Deloitte alumni, and recently took home $25,000 during a Velocity Fund Finals demo day, and $20,000 from Y Combinator after pitching the accelerator via Snapchat.
Interested readers can try Fiix with a sweet discount by using the code “BetaKit” when they book.