In only one year, M4JAM (Money for Jam) has skyrocketed from being an idea between cousins to South Africa’s largest staff on-demand micro jobbing platform – with almost 90,000 users.
M4JAM breaks big projects down into small tasks that people can complete on their cellphone, while going about their daily routine, in exchange for cash.
It taps into the collaborative power of the community and allows brands, businesses, and NGOs to partner with their customers and gather unbiased, real-time data insights.
M4JAM enables market research, mystery shopping, merchandise audits, product training, brand activations, point of interest creation, and compliance solutions quicker, cheaper, at scale, and in real time.
Here is how M4JAM disrupted the micro-jobbing market in just over one year.
Andre Hugo, co-founder and Chief Jammer at M4JAM, started his career at Deloitte over 18 years ago.
Having held titles such as Innovation Director, CEO of Deloitte Digital, and Chief Marketing Officer, his passion for disruptive technologies resulted in him being headhunted by a financial services company to help reshape its business.
Due to high levels of bureaucracy and slow decision making processes, he grew frustrated and resigned – effectively becoming unemployed for the first time in 20 years.
Hugo met with his cousin Warren Venter for a coffee catch up and soon realised that both of them were focusing on crowdsourcing opportunities. They agreed to test the waters with 20 key clients they had relationships with.
The first company they met with loved the idea and signed up, offering to make the first payment before M4JAM even had a bank account.
Over 3 weeks, M4JAM had commitment for over 100,000 jobs which they believed would last three months on platform – but only lasted two weeks.
They built the platform in 115 days, having negotiated with WeChat to host the microjobbing platform for an exclusive period, before gaining an agreement with Mxit to roll the platform out to their extended base.
After a hectic 3 months, M4JAM launched on 11 August 2014.
Seven days after launch, M4JAM met with the CEO of Naspers Listed entities Charles Searle and Chief Investment Officer Mark Sorour to discuss a potential investment.
A term sheet was signed five days later, and Naspers and Tencent became minority shareholders – enabling M4JAM to focus on growing the business locally and, once KPIs were met, globally.
M4JAM turned its first crisis around when “jobbers” were unable to cash out at Pick n Pay due to tellers not having been sufficiently trained.
M4JAM created 5,500 jobs on its platform that paid users to train the tellers – resulting in a new product on platform micro training being launched.
In addition to micro training, M4JAM also enables businesses to conduct market research, brand activation, mystery shopping, merchandising audits, point of interest validation, and a creations service.
In a year, M4JAM has grown from a team of three to over 25, if you take into account the recent acquisition of Pondering Panda. With almost 90,000 “jobbers” and over 90 brands, the platform continues to grow by an average of 500 users per day.
To support this massive growth, on 10 August 2015 M4JAM acquired specialist digital market research company Pondering Panda to expand its survey design and data insights capabilities.
M4JAM recently launched “earn” buttons for companies wishing to monetize their sites in a unique and interesting way. The Earn button is currently being rolled out to over 2,000 digital assets by one agency alone.
Following a successful trial, an affiliate programme for jobbers will be launched in the coming weeks.
The company is also working on introducing gamification to the platform where jobbers earn points and badges for jobs completed – ultimately allowing them to get paid more for a job if they have the prerequisite skills.
In August 2015, MTN Business recognised M4JAM’s innovation and awarded it the Best Wild Card App in 2015 at the fourth annual MTN Business App of the Year challenge.
So how does it work? The jobber’s quality of work determines their M4JAM jobber ranking.
A higher rank helps to get higher-paying jobs, leading to extra cash. The video below shows how M4JAM works.
“Here’s a challenge. Are you, as a brand owner, speaking directly to the end customer when they are about to engage with your brand? If not, I suggest that you give M4JAM a try,” said Hugo.
This article was published in partnership with M4JAM.