Naspers has made the first investment through its new Naspers Foundry start-up fund, buying a stake in Internet-based domestic cleaning service SweepSouth for R30-million.
SweepSouth is an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners. Naspers has not disclosed the percentage stake it has acquired in the company.
Naspers Foundry, which was launched in October 2018, is a R1.4-billion fund that invests in South African technology start-ups and provides support to technology entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.
SweepSouth was co-founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribec and has created jobs for more than 10 000 people, according to Naspers. The platform matches demand for trusted cleaning services that was previously unfulfilled — the online platform connects clients to pre-vetted cleaners in major cities in South Africa.
SweepSouth cleaners have full flexibility over their hours and availability, and benefit from pay rates “significantly higher” than the national minimum wage.
Pandor said the company will use the investment from Naspers Foundry to expand into other home services and grow into markets beyond South Africa. “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,” she said in a statement.
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said Naspers Foundry will announce more backing for South African start-ups in the coming months.
Van Dijk said at the launch of Naspers Foundry last year that the group plans to invest a total of R4.6-billion over three years in the South African technology sector, including R3.2-billion allocated to the development of its existing technology businesses, including OLX, Takealot and Mr D Food.
Naspers Foundry was announced at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference 2018 in Johannesburg and aims to fund and support local technology start-ups 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 which ensure South Africa benefits from this technology innovation,” he said. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media