Naspers Foundry announces its first investment, with R30m in SweepSouth


UPDATE (20 December 2019: SweepSouth co-founder Aisha Pandor confirmed with Ventureburn today that the R30-million was part of an investment round which the startup closed in October, valued at over R60-million (see this story).

Naspers today announced that its R1.4-billion venture capital (VC) fund Naspers Foundry, which is aimed at SA startups, has made its first deal, with a R30-million investment in SA startup SweepSouth.

The fund was launched in October last year by Naspers with the aim of investing in the SA technology sector (see this story).

The first deal comes just weeks ahead of an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders that Naspers plans to hold in Cape Town next Friday (28 June). The meeting is to discuss its plans to list its consumer internet business on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange next month.

SweepSouth, founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic (pictured above, left and right), is an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners.

Naspers has invested R30m in SweepSouth

Naspers did not disclose what stake in the startup the R30-million is for.

In a statement today SweepSouth co-founder Aisha Pandor said she and Ribic were ecstatic about the Naspers Foundry investment in the startup and added that she believes the partnership will help the startup achieve its vision of expanding into other home services and growing beyond the SA 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 Pandor.

In 2017 SweepSouth raised an undisclosed amount in a Series-A round which was led by international retail solutions company Smollan. The round included Draper Darker Flow, Identity Development Fund Managers, CRE venture capital and DJ Black Coffee (see this story).

It follows a R10-million round of funding in 2016 that the startup concluded (see this story).

More Naspers Foundry deals imminent

Commenting in the same statement today, Naspers chief executive Bob van Dijk: “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.”

Van Dijk said Naspers will announce more deals in SA startups 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,” he said.

Read more: The silent Naspers coup: how Koos Bekker gave away the family jewels [Opinion]
Read more: Do you want to treat Naspers like a small family business? [Opinion]
Read more: Naspers to launch R1.4bn fund to back SA tech startups
Read more: How Naspers could help find SA’s next great tech startups [Opinion]

Featured image: SweepSouth founders Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic (Supplied)



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