- Founders: Sieds Wijnja, Alinda Bindels, Arjen Geerse
- Founded in: 2020
- Employees: 3
- Money raised: In the pre-seed phase and paying for the development all by themselves.
- Ultimate goal: Grow into the leading international repair platform.
We all throw away tons of things every year. This causes, among other things, a substantial increase in CO₂ emissions. A real shame according to Sieds Wijnja, founder and owner of repair platform Jafix.com. Lots of things are easy and inexpensive to repair. He tells us about it in this instalment of start-up of the day.
What does Jafix.com do exactly?
“Jafix.com is a new and independent international repair platform. The goal of the platform is for consumers to repair broken things (or have them repaired) more often. In the first instance, its users help each other out. They do this by creating repair manuals and sharing them on Jafix.com. Other visitors then use these manuals to repair a broken item. We encourage the community to create those manuals and share their knowledge.”
“However, we also notice that not nearly everyone is handy enough to fix something themselves. That is why we are creating a new service that links consumers to repairers. They can be professional repairers, but just as easily be skilled amateurs. Because how often does it happen that something breaks down and the repair costs are actually too high, even though it is worth repairing? In fact, in some cases the repair is nothing more than a thorough cleaning.”
How did this idea come about?
“I have a technical background myself and I am used to fixing anything that breaks down since I was a kid. Or at least trying to. At one point I wondered why there was no online platform for repairs. I used to rely on videos on YouTube or explanations on specific forums. Those videos on YouTube are definitely very useful, but I often miss something. I just don’t see that one detail, or have to keep going back to a particular frame to understand what I need to do.”
“Forums, moreover, are often a shambles. I prefer to have a solid, clear plan with pictures, videos and text that explains precisely what I need to do, step by step. That’s how Jafix.com came into being. Alinda Bindels and Arjen Geerse came on board later on. Alinda does everything concerning the business model and financing and Arjen is responsible for the technical side.”
Why is this platform so important?
“Too often and too easily, things are thrown away or written off because they are faulty. More and more often, products are also designed and manufactured in such a way that they cannot be repaired or are difficult to repair. This significantly shortens the potential lifespan of the product. Although manufacturers are paying increasingly more attention to the environment-friendly recycling of their products, much less attention is paid in design to the stage before that: repairing products.”
“That’s a shame. Often products actually deserve to be given a second or third life. Because they are beautiful, have sentimental value, are worth money or will become valuable. Or simply because they can still function perfectly well. Perhaps more importantly, our natural sources of energy and raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce and valuable. So it is important to treat the available raw materials in a sustainable way.”
How much is actually thrown away?
“By 2020, the OPEN Foundation has collected over 125 million kilograms of so-called e-waste. Worldwide, this amounted to 53.6 million tonnes. This includes all manner of appliances with a plug or a battery. This is therefore not counting things that are not electronic, such as clothing, furniture, etc. A huge shame of course, because a lot of things are often easy and inexpensive to repair. This also represents a substantial gain in making society more sustainable. British research shows that in 88 percent of the repairs, savings of 24 kilos of CO2 are made because new purchases are postponed. Another thing is that the amount of e-waste is growing faster than it is being recycled. This trend also makes the case for taking products that can be repaired out of the recycling stream and giving them a second life.”
What challenges are you running into?
“Jafix.com only has value if there is content on it, and content is only added if there is value for the user. A classic problem for content platforms of course. We now want to break through this with an intermediary service. That provides immediate value for users, after all.”
What are your plans for the future?
“We want to go live with the intermediary module as soon as possible. We already have a launching customer, so that’s looking good. Traffic that will be generated will also draw more attention to the repair manuals we have on offer. By doing this, we want to get out of the pre-seed phase and start working with an external funder to accelerate our growth. Then we want to go international.”
You can also read the other instalments in this series via this link.