South African home cleaning company, SweepSouth pauses operations in Nigeria and Kenya

South African home cleaning company, SweepSouth has indefinitely paused its operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

South African home cleaning company, SweepSouth pauses operations in Nigeria and Kenya
Awazi Angbalaga, country manager at SweepSouth Nigeria

One year after launching its Nigerian operations, South African on-demand home cleaning and services platform, SweepSouth has indefinitely paused its operations in the country and Kenya.

"Due to the unfavourable global macroeconomic environment, the home services industry continues to hit hard. This has meant that our business cannot sustainably operate due to economic pressures being faced at the moment," the company said in a statement on Tuesday (Nov. 22, 2022).

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In Nigeria, the average annual individual income is ₦518,400 (~$1,168)—on average, Statista states that the monthly cost of living for an individual in Nigeria amounted to ₦43,000 (~$96.96).

Meanwhile, in South Africa—SweepSouths' headquarters—households had an average disposable income of about 50,000 South African Rand (~$2,886), annually in 2021. 

SweepSouth will continue to attend to its Nigerian users' bookings until Friday, November 25, 2022, when it will officially close its shop. "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," the company said.  

All bookings after November 25 will be cancelled and users will be refunded. Other funds in users' wallets—Sweepcred, will also be refunded, SweepSouth said in a tweet.

The home cleaning company is still operational in South Africa and Egypt—where it acquired FilKhedma, an online marketplace for home maintenance and improvement services such as plumbing, carpentry, electricity, air conditioning, painting and appliances.

Recall that in September 2022, Sweep South raised an $11m investment for its pan-African expansion. "This latest round of funding will allow the company to further develop and grow its infrastructure and team...roll out new services in existing markets, and pursue both greenfield expansions and acquisitions across the African continent and beyond," the company said in a statement after the funding announcement.

At the time, SweepSouth declined to respond to Benjamindada.com's comment on how the funding will impact its Nigerian operations. Prior to this latest development, the company was competing in the Nigerian home cleaning market with other tech-enabled startups like Fichaya and EdenLife.

Founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and her husband, Alen Ribic, and backed by over $15 million from venture capitalists including Alitheia IDF and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, SweepSouth takes 40,000 bookings per month across its three markets—South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.


Editor's Note: This is a developing story...