Bruce Whitfield: SA app SweepSouth created 15,000 domestic worker jobs – now it is opening up for other jobs, from plumbers to carpet cleaners

Business Insider SA

News analysis

Google Play Store
The SweepSouth App on Google Play Store.
  • SA tech start up SweepSouth has connected 15,000 domestic workers to jobs “Uber-style”.
  • It's now opening up for other jobs from plumbers to carpet cleaners.
  • It’s raised R50 million in funding to set its sight on new markets north of South Africa. 
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The team that has connected nearly 15,000 domestic workers to jobs in South Africa has created a similar platform for tradesmen.

Based on the principle of the Uber, Airbnb and other gig-economy business models, SweepSouth provides a direct payments system between customer and service provider. It has a ratings facility that allows both the domestic worker and client to rate one another. 

Now SweepSouth Connect has been developed to help everyone, from handymen to carpet cleaners and locksmiths to get freelance jobs, based on the proven SweepSouth model.

SweepSouth, which has been running for five years, was created after co-founder Aisha Pandor and her husband Alen Ribic built the app to address their need for domestic help while on holiday. 

Available now in seven cities in South Africa, SweepSouth has long wanted to enter the DIY market - to provide the sorts of people you might see outside a Builders Warehouse on a Saturday morning holding boards which read: “tiler” or “plumber” with access to market. The new platform is being tested and is poised to go live.

They have even added services like babysitting to the platform.

When Airbnb started, founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia had no idea whether homeowners would welcome total strangers to stay in their spare rooms. By creating a platform where both users and service providers could score one another, they developed a system that has become trusted and accepted around the world. 

SweepSouth has just raised a new round of R50 million in funding which will be used for expansion into other African markets. While the technology they have developed might be universal, the big job is gaining market acceptance in other jurisdictions and it requires lots of marketing in new countries. 

Among the new investors in Sweep South are DJ Black Coffee, who has also invested in other local start-ups like payments system Yoco which has just surpassed the 50,000 customer mark, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation that invested $1 million, and the biggest investment yet by incubator fund Naspers Foundry which put R30 million into the firm. 

Bruce Whitfield is a multi-platform award-winning financial journalist and broadcaster.

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