Time runs out for SA microjobbing startup M4JAM

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The board of South African microjobbing startup M4JAM has decided to cease trading and sell off its assets after the company failed to achieve profitability within its investment timeframe.

M4JAM yesterday sent messages via WeChat, Twitter and Facebook telling all users to cash out of their wallets before March 31 as the startup was “in the process of restructuring the business”.

This sparked online speculation about the microjobbing service, which allows brands and NGOs to post a number of small tasks which can then be taken on by “jobbers” who complete them using their mobile phones. M4JAM co-founder Andre Hugo has now confirmed to Disrupt Africa the company is set to close if a buyer cannot be found.

“M4JAM was unable to achieve profitability within the investment time frame. As a result the board has decided to cease trading and sell the assets to interested parties over the course of the next month,” he said.

“We are in the process of meeting with a number of interested parties currently. If we are successful the business will be restructured. If not the business will be closed. Therefore we are urging jobbers to cash out their wallet balances.”

All had seemed rosy for M4JAM, which in February of last year, raised funding from Naspers and Tencent-owned WeChat Africa. The investment was supposed to be used to allow the startup to scale locally and expand globally, but board members have clearly been unimpressed by the lack of profits.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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