Naspers Foundry, a division of Naspers which is responsible for the company's investments in South African technology startups, has announced its first investment, a R30 million investment in South Africa's SweepSouth. SweepSouth is a South African tech startup with an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners.

This comes several months after Naspers had indicated earlier in 2019 that its transformation into an Internet-only investment company was almost complete after selling its shares in South Africa's MultiChoice.

“We are excited to announce our first Naspers Foundry investment and to welcome SweepSouth to the Naspers family. We are inspired by entrepreneurs like Aisha and Alen who use innovative technology to improve people’s lives. We know what it takes to scale tech businesses, and the team is looking forward to working together with SweepSouth to help them do that. Naspers Foundry is off to a good start and we aim to announce more backing for South African start ups in the coming months. We are excited about the potential technology has to improve people’s lives, and will also continue investing in our existing operations in South Africa, including Takealot, Superbalist, Mr D Food, OLX, Autotrader SA, Property24, and Media24,” said Bob van Dijk, Naspers Chief Executive.

Helping South African startups

During 2018 Naspers announced that it has committed R1,4 billion towards funding technology startups in South Africa over the next three years. This was announced during the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference 2018 which took place in Johannesburg on 26 October 2018.

During the investment conference Van Dijk had emphasized that Naspers Foundry aims to both encourage and back South African entrepreneurs to create businesses which ensure South Africa benefits from this technology innovation. As such, the investment into SweepSouth can be viewed along similar lines.

Creating jobs in South Africa using technology

SweepSouth was co-founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic. According to the husband and wife founding team, SweepSouth has to date created jobs for more than 10,000 people in South Africa with the platform matching demand for trusted cleaning services that was previously unfulfilled.

"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. 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, whilst also creating meaningful employment opportunities," said Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth.

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