M4JAM acquires digital research firm Pondering Panda


South African microjobbing startup M4JAM has acquired digital market research company Pondering Panda for an undisclosed amount in order to strengthen its offering as it plans for expansion.

Disrupt Africa reported in February Naspers and Tencent-owned WeChat Africa had invested in M4JAM,  a microjobbing service that allows brands and NGOs to post a number of small tasks, which are then promoted by M4JAM and taken on by “jobbers” who complete them using their mobile phones.

M4JAM, which was self-funded for its first four or five months after launching last year, has around 80,000 jobbers, with approximately 150,000 jobs having been posted on the platform so far. The investment from Naspers and Tencent is to be used to allow the startup to scale locally and expand globally.

As part of these expansion plans, the startup has now acquired Pondering Panda, with the acquisition to see the two companies join forces to harness the power of the crowd to change the way digital market research and consumer insights drive real consumer engagement.

“For the past year we have revolutionised the way that market research data is gathered. We’ve realised businesses need more, they demand ‘in-the-moment’ insights from a geographically and demographically diverse community,” M4JAM co-founder Andre Hugo said.

“Our acquisition of Pondering Panda is an important one because it strengthens our value proposition, we can now provide more than basic insights, we can provide enhanced analytics, from real customers, in real-time.”

Diane Gantz, chief executive officer (CEO) of Pondering Panda, said the two startups were “without doubt the go-to place for digital research in Africa”.

“Not only are M4JAM like-minded digital disruptors, but they are taking mobile research beyond simple questionnaires into a whole new world of real-time insights powered by their microjobbing platform,” she said.

“Pondering Panda will stay fully base-agnostic and continue sourcing data across multiple respondents bases, while at the same time bringing a whole new data analytics and consumer insights dimension to M4JAM’s research offering.”

The two companies have already begun integration, with Pondering Panda joining M4JAM while maintaining its own brand.

“Tapping into the mobile microjobbing ecosystem is the future of research. It makes sense that given our investment in the collaborative economy, we have acquired Pondering Panda, making our future’s even brighter as we continue to disrupt the status quo,” Hugo said.


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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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