South African online cleaning service provider, SweepSouth, was founded on the belief that the home cleaning industry needed modernisation through technology as well as a change in mind-set towards the belief that everyone deserves access to dignified work at decent pay. “As we expand we can offer so many more work opportunities,” says Aisha R. Pandor, CEO of SweepSouth. SweepSouth has created thousands of job opportunities in the last few months for women, the vast majority of whom were unemployed, resulting in over 100 000 hours of cleaning being completed over this time.
SweepSouth is the market-leader, and pioneer, in on-demand home cleaning services on the African continent. The company earned the winning pitch at the SiMODiSA Start-up SA conference in October 2014, and in 2015 went on to become the first South African start-up selected to participate in the 500 Start-ups accelerator in Silicon Valley, between July and November 2015.
Pandor has a PhD in Genetics and is a former management consultant with experience in HR management, strategy and operations. Alen Ribic, SweepSouth’s co-founder and CTO has over a decade of experience in software engineering, particularly in developing highly scalable systems.
This week it has been announced that The Vumela Fund has backed the start-up with R10 million for further growth and development in South Africa and the rest of the continent. The Vumela Fund is capitalised by the First Rand Group and the Jobs Fund and managed by FNB in an alliance relationship with Edge Growth. “The start of 2016 suggests a year that will be no less exciting for us, with this major new cash injection from the Vumela Fund, we can further expand our rapidly growing national footprint,” explains Pandor.
The importance of finding for start-ups
Funding remains one of the key challenges for new start-ups and entrepreneurs. Accessing institutions so to be able to secure this funding requires persistence, industry know-how and a fantastic product or service. Something that SweepSouth has managed to achieve.
Speaking about the SweepSouth deal, lead investor Janice Johnston of Edge Growth says, “We think SweepSouth is one of the leading tech start-ups in SA. The on-demand economy is a huge growth area because a lot of consumers’ needs can be far better served with tech-enabled, on-demand services. Uber is a great example of such innovation and we think SweepSouth is the Uber of cleaning in SA. The exciting job creation opportunities which the SweepSouth platform provides professional cleaners.”
“Edge Growth is an experienced and respected investor who shares our passion for job creation and social transformation. We’ve loved interacting with their team and are excited about utilising this investment to continue our rapid growth and create sustainable work for thousands of cleaners in the next year” said Pandor.
The issue of funding will be further explored by Makamba Online at our African Entrepreneurial Exchange breakfast, set for next month. Industry experts will engage entrepreneurs on various topics pertaining to the Entrepreneurial Eco-System, including access to finance.
Author: David Nothling