A technology-powered South African home cleaning start-up, SweepSouth, has become the first local company to be selected by 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund and start-up accelerator.
It’s the first time a South African company has been selected into the accelerator programme, with only a handful of African companies being chosen previously, 500 Startups said in a statement on Monday.
“Of thousands of applicants for each batch, only 2% are successful, and the prestigious and effective four-month accelerator programme also comes with US$125 000 in funding,” it said.
500 Startups is led by Silicon Valley veteran Dave McClure, who has consulted to Microsoft, Intel and other technology companies. He is also a former marketing director at PayPal.
The company has invested in a thousand start-ups in the past five years, including TaskRabbit, Twilio and Gyft.
SweepSouth was launched in 2014 and creates opportunities for cleaners in South Africa to find work. It said it has completed thousands of bookings in homes and offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. It uses an “advanced matching and rating algorithm” to do this.
The start-up has already attracted a number of angel investments, led by Gyft founder Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen’s Newtown Partners, with Pule Taukobong’s Africa Angels Network and Polo Leteka Radebe’s Identity Development Fund, it said.
“The focus of the next four months is clear – achieve exponential growth and present our achievements in front of some of the top investors and media houses in the world, said SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor in a statement.
“SweepSouth’s acceptance into 500 Startups validates the quality and global recognition African start-ups are starting to receive and hopefully motivates more to follow,” added Silicon Cape chairman Dan Guasco.
“While there have been a number of substantial exits to global companies like Visa, Garmin, Groupon, Verisign, General Electric, First Data, and WPP, there has been little recognition or support for early-stage start-ups.” — © 2015 NewsCentral Media