SweepSouth has received a boost for business from First National Bank's
Vumela Enterprise Fund and other investors. The company has secured R10-million
in venture capital to expand the business across the country and secure plans to
take the idea
The South African home and corporate cleaning business was launched in 2014
by management consultant Aisha Pandor and software developer Alen Ribic. Much
like the popular Uber lift-sharing and Airbnb accommodation apps, SweepSouth
uses new media technology to supply online, on-demand home and business
Pandor describes SweepSouth as an accessible platform for booking, managing
and paying for cleaning services. The online, app-based platform connects clients
with reliable, diligently vetted cleaning staff at affordable rates.
"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," says Pandor.
The funding comes from the
Vumela Fund, as well as from the company's
existing investors, namely technology entrepreneur Vinny Lingham and Newtown
The Vumela Fund, which was launched in 2010 to "create economic
opportunities through high-impact entrepreneurship and job creation", is capitalised
by FirstRand Group and the Jobs Fund, and is managed by First National Bank (FNB)
in an alliance with Edge Growth, an enterprise and supplier development specialist
The alliance focuses on helping small companies through its scale-up
development phase and, to date, has almost R400-million in funds under
management invested in various businesses in South Africa.
Janice Johnston, the lead investor at Edge Growth, calls SweepSouth a dynamic
and creative concept, adding that "the on-demand economy is a huge growth area,
because a lot of
consumers' needs can be far better served with tech-enabled, on-
Pandor calls the Edge Growth investment in SweepSouth a vote of confidence in
the South African entrepreneurial spirit. "It is an experienced and respected
investor [that] 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."
In 2015, SweepSouth was the first local company to be selected to participate
in 500 Startups, a venture capital fund and start-up accelerator in Silicon Valley in
"SweepSouth has created thousands of job opportunities in the last few months
for women, the vast majority of whom were unemployed, resulting in more
100 000 hours of cleaning being completed over this time," Pandor said when
presenting the concept to 500 Startups.
The company is also part of the Microsoft BizSpark Programme, which supports
small business with free software services. It was also named as one of the top five
tech start-ups in the country by Ventureburn website in 2015.
SweepSouth books and manages reliable and safe cleaning services. With operations in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria the company uses an online, on-demand real-time business model. In January 2016, the company received a financial boost from First National Bank and the Vumela Fund. (Image: SweepSouth)