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SweepSouth becomes first SA startup to join Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups programme

South African on-demand domestic cleaning startup SweepSouth has secured a spot in the renowned Silicon Valley-based accelerator programme, 500 Startups.

Not only has SweepSouth been awarded US$125 000 in seed funding and acceptance into the four-month mentorship programme, it’s also South Africa’s only startup to have been accepted by the global accelerator.

500 Startups is lead by entrepreneur and angel investor Dave McClure (pictured above with SweepSouth co-founder Alen Ribic) and has invested in over 1 000 companies within the last five years.

The VC aims to become the largest in the world and is backing startups from over 50 countries.

Some prominent 500 Startups investments include jobs marketplace TaskRabbit, cloud communications company Twilio and digital gift card service Gyft.

SweepSouth is described as an Uber-for-cleaning service. Boasting an advanced matching and rating algorithm, the online platform has shown monthly double-digit growth that, according to co-founder Aisha Pandor, is not going to slow down:

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. Each week we are exposed to more impressive mentors and each week our, and their, expectations grow. Its exhilarating… in a terrifying way.

Read more: SweepSouth is the lean cleaning company your home has been looking for

Founder of Gyft and renowned South African investor Vinny Lingham is also a backer of SweepSouth. In May this year, Lingham lead an undisclosed seed round with investment partner Llew Claasen, Pule Taukobong’s Africa Angels Network and Polo Leteka Radebe’s Identity Development Fund.

“We are meeting some of the smartest people in the industry who understand and have experience in taking a company like SweepSouth from thousands of transactions a month to hundreds of thousands,” says Ribic.

In October last year, the SweepSouth team went on a two-month trip to Silicon Valley after winning a pitching competition at local startup conference Simodisa. It was also named one of Africa’s top ten startups to pitch at Dublin Web Summit in 2014.

“We hope that the experiences and international backing we have from the 500 Startups team and our local investors will set SweepSouth up for a very prosperous future and help us further contribute to our country’s economy,” adds Pandor.

The chairman of South African startup network Silicon Cape, Dan Guasco, adds that this kind of global recognition is significant for the overall African ecosystem: “SweepSouth’s acceptance into 500 Startups validates the quality and global recognition African startups are starting to receive and hopefully motivates more to follow.”

Author Bio

Jacques Coetzee
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More