SOUTH AFRICA – Futuregrowth Asset Manager, a fixed-interest asset manager, via its Development Equity Fund has invested in SweepSouth, a disruptive online platform for booking, managing and paying for home cleaning, and now a variety of other services.

“SweepSouth is an early- stage business disruptor that, instead of solving a Silicon Valley problem, is solving South African-specific problems,” Amrish Narrandes, Head of Unlisted Equity Transactions at Futuregrowth, said.

“The company has taken a large segment of the informal sector, which is one of the biggest employers in South Africa, and formalised it, giving people protection and security in their working environments.”

SweepSouth was first established in June 2014 and has expanded its offering from its personalised home cleaning roots to gardening and pool cleaning, heavy lifting, fixing and maintenance and, most recently, commercial sanitation.

Its services are available in South Africa’s four major metropolitan areas, namely Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

SweepSouth stood out for Futuregrowth because it met all the criteria that were identified as necessary in early-stage companies: SweepSouth has a large addressable market in the informal sector, it is incredibly disruptive, it is having a positive social impact on the economy and the management team has proven credentials in building the company to where it is now, as well as engaging in ongoing innovation.

The business has expanded the scope of its services to the point where it now offers its clients access to a comprehensive suite of personal services.

It has also pivoted its service offering into commercial sanitisation, giving it diverse sources of revenue and avenues for future growth.

“SweepSouth has played a material role in empowering previously vulnerable informal workers by giving them a voice and the ability to control their destiny because they have flexibility and control over their own time,” said Narrandes.

SweepSouth provides dignified work opportunities for thousands of SweepStars, 71% of whom were previously unemployed and 29% of whom were underemployed.

“We are uplifted each time we see our SweepStars referred to in this way, as it represents how a positive idea can take shape and can change the negative language that has been so deeply entrenched,” Aisha Pandor, co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, said.

A significant 84% of SweepStars are primary breadwinners at home, making the income they earn through the platform vital in enabling them to support their families.

“SweepStars can dictate where and when they would like to work, earn up to 80% of the booking fee (plus tips), and learn to use technology to unlock the power of a device like a smartphone so that it becomes a tool that provides access to work,” Pandor said.

Futuregrowth’s latest investment in SweepSouth adds to the Fund’s growing portfolio of other early- stage investments.

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