Home cleaning startup SweepSouth pauses operations in Nigeria months after raising pre-seed

Ganiu Oloruntade
Naspers Foundry Invests $2.1m in On-Demand Cleaning Service Startup, SweepSouth

South Africa’s online home cleaning service, SweepSouth has announced it’s shutting down operations in Nigeria, a decision the company described as “a very difficult” one in a statement shared on its Twitter page on Tuesday.

In the statement, the company said it cannot sustainably operate due to economic pressures, as the home service industry continues to be hit hard by the unfavourable global macroeconomic environment.

“This has been a difficult decision to make considering our passion to serve the Nigerian market. We know this decision will negatively impact our SweepSouth community and SweepStars. Therefore we ask for your support and understanding as we navigate this time. All bookings scheduled to take place between now and November 25th will remain in place,” part of the statement read.

Read also: Home cleaning startup, SweepSouth raises $11m pre-seed funding.

The closure of its operations in Nigeria, according to SweepSouth, is to take effect from Friday, November 25, 2022. In this regard, all bookings scheduled to take place after the aforementioned date will be cancelled.

The company also said that customers will receive full refunds for any bookings that have been paid for in advance and full refunds for Sweepcred loaded in the customers’ accounts.

Co-founded in Cape Town in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic, SweepSouth has established a presence for itself in each of Africa’s four major tech markets. The venture capitalists-backed company commenced operations in South Africa in 2021 and later expanded its services to Kenya and Egypt. In 2022, the company launched its services in Nigeria.

SweepSouth closes a big deal of $11 million investment in pre seed funding
SweepSouth closes a big deal of $11 million investment in pre-seed funding.

Barely three months ago, the company raised $11 million in its biggest pre-seed funding in a round led by Alitheia IDF (AIF), Africa’s first and largest gender-lens private equity fund. Naspers Foundry,  Recall earlier in the year, SweepSouth acquired the Egyptian home service platform, FilKhedma. The company’s Nigeria country manager, Awazi Angbagala said at the time that SweepSouth takes 40,000 bookings per month across three markets.

“The company will continue to provide this service and empower its community in South Africa and Egypt. While we will no longer be operating in Nigeria, we will continue to keep abreast of activities in the Nigerian market and work towards a potential re-entry into the market at a later date,” SweepSouth added in the statement.

SweepSouth in Nigeria

SweepSouth is an online platform providing on-demand home cleaning services, operating across various South African cities. The startup raised significant funding and spent a large part of 2021 expanding across the rest of the continent.

At the time it announced that it was expanding its services to Nigeria, the country manager Angbalaga said it had test-run its service in the country for two months before launching in Nigeria.

“Although we’ve largely been testing out our service here, we have already had our first 300 bookings, and the feedback we’ve received backs our belief that our proposition is compelling to Nigerians. While we’re growing our bookings every week, our focus continues to be providing the best service to our customers,” Angbalaga said.

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