They’ve been cleaning homes in major cities around South Africa since 2014 and now, SweepSouth has achieved a major milestone and first for the country by being the first local startup to be selected as part of the US-based 500 Startups accelerator.
Since 2010, 500 Startups has been running four-month long accelerator programs in Mountain View and Silicon Valley in the US, and Mexico City in Mexico.
Founded by husband and wife, Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor, SweepSouth operates Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Centurion and charges R38 per hour to book a verified professional to clean your house.
SweepSouth joins 35 companies from different countries such as Finland, Brazil, Uruguay, Serbia, Ghana, Russia, Canada and Jordan as part of the 14th batch of startups to be featured on the program and will be spending their four months in San Francisco.
During the program, startups receive office space at the 500 Startups’ offices, mentorship, hands-on sessions with industry experts, access to the program’s network of connections, funding worth $125 000 (around R1.5 million) for 5% equity in their business and become part of a community where they can link up with other entrepreneurs.
Startups are charged $25 000 to occupy space in the program, so the amount of funding each one gets is effectively $100 000 (around R1.2 million).
“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. It’s exhilarating… in a terrifying way,” said Pandor. ““We hope that the experiences and international backing we have from the 500 Startups team and our local investors will set SweepSouth for a very prosperous future and help us further contribute to our country’s economy.”
More than 1 000 startups from over 50 countries have been through 500 Startups since inception in 2010, with the alumni including the likes of Makerbot,SweepSouth Facebook]