In the first of what will be many investments in the South African tech sector, Naspers Foundry buys into the “Uber for cleaning services”.

Launched in October 2018 at the South Africa Investment Conference, Naspers Foundry is a R1.4-billion investment fund aimed at boosting South African tech start-ups. It will also provide support to technology entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses.

The fund has identified SweepSouth, an online cleaning service platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners, as its first investment.

SweepSouth was co-founded by 2018 Standard Bank Top Women judge Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribec in 2014. Since then, the company has shown exceptional growth, creating jobs for more than 10 000 people.

Some of this success can be attributed to the peace of mind the company gives to clients with its vetting process, as well as the flexibility and generous pay rates it provides to cleaners. Most of all, though, it’s the ease with which transactions between cleaners and clients are executed via the online platform.

“We are ecstatic about the Naspers Foundry investment in SweepSouth, and believe the partnership will help us achieve our vision of expanding into other home services and growing beyond the South African market,” says Pandor.

“We see ourselves as an emerging market-focused platform that aims to serve the many professionals who don’t have the time to source the services we provide, while also creating meaningful employment opportunities.”

Commenting on the investment, Naspers Group CEO Bob van Dijk said that Naspers Foundry will be announcing more investments in South African start-ups in the coming months, focusing on local tech start-ups that are seeking to address “big societal needs”.

“Technology innovation is transforming the world. Naspers Foundry aims to both encourage and back South African entrepreneurs to create businesses that ensure South Africa benefits from this technology innovation,” he says.