Mercy Corps-backed KibaruaNow has shut down after a tough run in Nairobi after it unsuccessfully tried to be a TaskRabbit for Kenya and eventually East Africa.
The firm announced, “Kibarua Now will be discontinuing operations end of May. It’s been a great run and we appreciate all of your support throughout. We wish you all the best, The KibaruaNow team.”
It’s closure doesn’t mean the Kenyan service marketplace is dead or non-existent as several other firms doing similar things are launching in the country day by day. The closure might have been due to lack of direct impact to the taskers and the employers or just impatience trying to figure what business model would work for them better.
The SMS and web based marketplace for short term and repetitive tasks was launched to help connect individuals, homeowners and businesses to people who can do tasks around the home or office in this busy world. KibaruaNow leveraged SMS and mobile payments to link youth to tasks they’d do and get paid by both corporate or individual employers with reviews for future reference.
As it shuts down, several other startups are launching to take up its positions and help users complete their tasks with easse. After the task is completed satisfactorily, KibaruaNow pays the tasker and retains 20% of the Tasker Fee. The client rates the tasker and the tasker rates the client too.
KibaruaNow had promised to create 1 million jobs in the country by helping connect youths to short-term job opportunities.
KibaruaNow, had envisioned to be an online and mobile marketplace for short term and repetitive jobs with a goal to instantly connect individuals, homeowners and businesses with short-term tasks that need to be done. KibaruaNow’s work was to get a trusted pool of Taskers that are: background checked, reliable, verified, and referenced people with various skills and match them with this short-term employers so they complete services for them and are paid for their time and taks completed. KibaruaNow had recieved undisclosed funding from the Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund to help it become a sustainable social business.