Exclusive: Google bigwig to join fast-growing M4JAM

Brett St Clair

Ventureburn can exclusively reveal that Google’s Brett StClair is leaving the technology giant to join up-and-coming micro-jobbing startup M4JAM (Money for Jam).

Brett StClair, who is currently the Google for Work Regional Manager Sub Sahara Africa, will take up a position as Head of Sales at the startup, which burst onto the scene in the second half of 2014.

Initially only operating within the Tencent-owned instant messaging platform WeChat, M4JAM is a micro-jobbing service that allows people to earn small sums of money by completing simple tasks on their mobile phones.

Founded by Andre Hugo and Warren Venter, the startup really kicked into gear when legendary banker and investor Michael Jordaan challenged them to stop the talk and build their product in 90 days. Just 105 days later, they were ready to show it off to the world.

“We’ve been chomping at the bit to get Brett onboard,” Hugo told Ventureburn in reference to his new hire. “The doors that he can open are just amazing”.

While StClair is certainly the most high-profile hire made by the startup, he is far from the only one. In fact, its team — split between Johannesburg and Cape Town — is now 13-people strong. Another high-profile addition to the team is Wessel Badenhorst, who was formerly CTO at digital agency RogerWilco.

Read more: M4JAM: the new startup that uses micro-jobbing to solve SA’s biggest problem

While StClair brings with him a wealth of experience in both the advertising and mobile space, having spent nearly two years as Head of Mobile at Google South Africa and a year and a half as Country Manager for mobile advertising company AdMob (which was bought out by Google), he’s also no stranger to the startup space.

In 2007, he founded Be-Mobile, a mobile marketing and media agency which specialised in all aspects of Mobile Marketing.

StClair joins a startup on the rise too. In December, it moved away from working exclusively and WeChat and its features can now be embedded within banner ads. It also claims that around 25 000 jobs are completed on the platform every week.

The company, which recently moved to new offices in Stellenbosch’s Techno Park, also says that it’s successfully managed multiple campaigns for over 40 of South Africa’s biggest brands, including TomTom, Le Creuset, Ster-Kinekor, TNS, Telesure and Shoprite.

Last week, meanwhile, it launched an Earn Button. Similar to the popular social networking buttons present on many sites allowing users to share interesting information socially, brands will be able to place the button on their digital properties. Clicking on this button it will redirect potential jobbers to a mobisite where they will be able to find jobs specific to that brand. An additional feature allows the jobber to share that they have done a job for a specifc client and earned cash on M4JAM, across their social accounts.

According to Hugo, “Not only will these new features give jobbers new avenues to find jobs, but it increases the value that we offer to our clients, allowing them to showcase the role that they are playing in changing the market.”

StClair, who has been open in his praise for the company, will start work from Joburg offices on 1 March.



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