SweepSouth, an online home services platform operating across Africa, has completed an investment round totalling US$11-million – or R200-million at the exchange rate this week.
The funding will be used to grow the current business and expand into other regions with its service of enabling short-term hiring of domestic workers and local tradespeople. Co-founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic, SweepSouth has a presence in Africa’s four key tech markets: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt.
The investment round was led by Alitheia IDF (AIF), Africa’s first and largest gender-lens private equity fund. The size of the round, which is SweepSouth’s largest to date, is a result of strong growth in its valuation and social impact since the previous funding round, says the company. Current investors Naspers Foundry, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Futuregrowth Asset Management all committed to participate in this new round, as did new investors Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s Harvest Fund II, Caruso Ventures, and E4E Africa.
SweepSouth says the funding will allowit to further develop and grow its infrastructure and team in South Africa, roll out new services in existing markets, and pursue both greenfield expansions and acquisitions across the African continent and beyond.
“This new funding round is an important one for our team as we continue to scale in South Africa, and further grow our operations in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt,” says Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth.
Alitheia IDF (AIF), Africa’s first women-focused and women-led private equity fund, is a US$100-million “gender-lens” fund – meaning that it takes geneder factors into account in its strategy. The fund identifies, invests in, and grows SMEs led by gender-diverse teams in six African countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Says Polo Leteka, principal partner of the Alitheia IDF Fund: “In the domestic services industry, which is notoriously informal and exploitative, SweepSouth’s model solves autonomy, security, and increasing income for its service providers, and affordability and flexibility for its end users. AIF’s investment will enable the development of infrastructure and operations that will deliver growth for stakeholders – particularly domestic workers and local tradespeople at the base of the economic pyramid,”
In addition to its expansion efforts, says SweepSouth, it will scale its current efforts to improve the economic and legal rights of domestic workers through efforts such as the SweepSouth Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers Across Africa – a report that highlights the struggles of domestic workers in Africa and encourages more action from governments and stakeholders.