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African mobile social network Mxit has begun a fresh round of retrenchments as it looks to find its place in a mobile messaging space dominated by US and Asian players.
A source close to the company confirmed to Memeburn that the Stellenbosch-based company today began negotiations with staff around its downsizing efforts.
This is the second wave of retrenchments at the company in the last couple of years. In late 2012, following the departure of maverick entrepreneur Alan-Knott Craig Jr, the company laid off nearly a third of its staff. At the same time however, it said that it was looking to double its user base.
Initially things looked strong on that front, with the appointment of former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan as the chairman of its board and an entry into the Indian market expected to bolster the company’s structures and user numbers respectively.
That’s something which clearly hasn’t happened, with the latest user numbers showing that it had shed nearly a quarter of its user base.
At present, it’s unclear how extensive the retrenchments will be and what aspects of the company it will affect. It is however believed that around 45 staff, including some in key positions, were offered retrenchment packages.
At present, Mxit seems to be putting a lot of effort into the Ukufunda Virtual School and various other projects within the Mxit Reach programme, which is focused on social upliftment.
It seems unlikely therefore it will face the bulk of the retrenchments, especially given that the company this week announced that it would be sponsoring CodeX, a South African programming school.
Memeburn has approached Mxit for comment and will update the story accordingly.