Hivisasa, one of Kenya’s pioneer digital media platforms, has closed shop in Kenya less than a year after it cut its staff by half.
Last year, as part of reorganisation to cut operational expenses, the online publisher, owned by Mobile Web Ltd, cut 17 employees across the departments through redundancy.
In a statement on Wednesday, the founder and CEO Chloe Spoerry said that despite growing its audience and impact, Hivisasa has, like many other digital publishers globally, been unable to identify a viable advertisement-led business model.
“As a result, we have made the hard decision to close down the current model of local news production, in order to explore new ideas and opportunities,” said Ms Spoerry.
Hivisasa, Swahili for right now, is a digital media project publishing news and photos from citizen reporters who are paid via M-Pesa for every article published, but retains an editorial team in Nairobi to manage content.
It was active in 10 locations, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisii, Nyamira, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Garissa, Mombasa and also Kibera (Nairobi).
The CEO said that over the last six years, thousands of talented Hivisasa news writers have tirelessly reported on Kenya’s counties and national politics.
Hivisasa says it posted a two-million monthly audience, peaking at 6.1 million.
This is the second digital platform to wind up in the recent months. In November last year, lifestyle and fashion-focused media platform Zumi also pulled the plug on its operations due to low raised capital and revenue.
The company officially made the announcement via their social media platforms that the company will shut down, but all the individual content producers will still go on with their jobs.
According to the post that was shared on their Instagram account “Zumi wants to thank all our fans for supporting us for the past three years! Unfortunately, today, we close the shop but our producers won’t stop creating contents.”
Zumi was founded by William McCarren (Ex-Rocket Internet Africa Employees) and Sabrina Dorman.