Earlier I ran a story about M-Kazi, an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) job application service connecting job seekers to employers, which has shut down. I unethically went live without hearing from the founders and out of good faith, I have pulled down the story.
To clear the several angles from our tipsters, to answer your questions and protect everyone involved including our readers, co-founder Lino Carcoforo has volunteered facts on why the firm shut down its operations.
M-Kazi raised a total of USD200,000, NOT $660,000.Main reasons for winding down:1. Billing issues with Safaricom – Having negotiated rates through Craft Silicon to ensure better margins on SMS and USSD, M-Kazi was not able to bill Safaricom directly due to a lack of a tripartite agreement.2. Lack of cash flow due to not being able to bill3. Discrepancy between M-Kazi system sms sent and Safaricom delivery reports4. Failure to close subsequent funding as a result of not showing adequate growth in user acquisition – again, directly tied to lack of marketing spend.Below is our email conversation.