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Naspers Foundry invests in talented and ambitious tech entrepreneurs in South Africa

Internet giant Naspers's Foundry investment fund for South African startups has announced its first big bet with a $2 million (R30 million) investment in gig economy startup SweepSouth.

The Cape Town-based firm is an online cleaning service for domestic cleaners in South Africa's major urban centres. It was started in 2013 by couple Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic, who invested their savings for their children's university studies in the startup after they struggled to find a cleaner.

Often referred to as the "Uber of cleaning," SweepSouth has reached $7 million (R100 million) in revenues in the past year.

“We went from the two of us working around our dining-room table – both of us sitting all day and working on this business plan – to going from a few domestic workers we were interviewing ourselves,” Pandor has said, and "even went from cleaning houses ourselves to having 11,000 domestic workers on the platform”.

Naspers Foundry is a $98 million (R1.4 billion) fund that was announced last year as part of the South Africa Investment Conference last October, held by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to spur investment into the country.

"The investment kicks off Naspers’ commitment to supporting talented and ambitious entrepreneurs in South Africa who are using technology to improve people’s daily lives," said Naspers chief executive Bob van Dijk.

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