Food and drink

Dinner party marketplace Gathar launches Microwd crowdfunding campaign

- March 21, 2023 2 MIN READ
Gathar, Curtis Stone, Jodie Mlikota
Chef Curtis Stone with Gathar CEO Jodie Mlikota. Photo: Supplied
Queensland catering startup Gathar is launching a crowdfunding campaign on female founder focused platform Microwd.

Gathar is the self-described “Airbnb of dinner parties”, which matches hosts with caterers, from chefs to talented home cooks. 

Expressions of interest for the crowdfunding campaign opened today on Microwd, which rebranded from ‘Pledgeme’ last year.

The dinner party marketplace has generated more than $5 million in sales since its 2018 launch and has turned to the crowdfunding platform for its latest raise, seeking to secure at least $500,000.

Gathar caterers come to your home, holiday house, or office and cook, serve, and wash up after. 

The business initially launched in Cairns and Port Douglas, where the founders are based, and has now expanded to 30 markets nationally, including Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, and the holiday destinations of Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and 35 globally. 

Early last year, celebrity chef Curtis Stone joined Gathar following a $1 million post-seed raise. The platform previously raised $600,000 in June 2020.

Gathar’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) jumped by 247% in 2021 and a further rise of 163% in 2022. 


Gathar dining experience

CEO and cofounder Jodie Mlikota said the raised capital would expand the company’s presence in the US, improve its recently introduced meal prep product offering, and scale up its in-house B2B and technology teams.

“In just five years Gathar has established itself as Australia’s go-to private chef platform, with a presence across more than 35 locations,” she said. 

“We are excited about the continued growth opportunities in our home country, but we also want to share our ethos with the rest of the world.When we gather we eat, because sharing food is sharing connection. Gathar is in the business of helping people make memories, one ‘gatharing’ at a time.”

Mlikota is hoping to raise $2 million on MiCrowd to bolster growth in Australia and US on a pre-money valuation of $12.3 million.

Gathar US has already delivered catering experiences for big brands like Amazon, TikTok, and SheIn, and has just announced bookings in Austin, Texas.

Microwd CEO Megan Owen says giving greater visibility to investment opportunities in companies led by inspiring women like Gathar is why she launched a dedicated crowdfunding platform. 

“I want to see women-led growth companies – whether founded by a woman or women at the helm, succeed,” she said.

“Female founders globally only receive approximately 3% of venture capital funding. That needs to change. By providing a tangible investment mechanism rather than simply rhetoric, we can help to facilitate change.”


2024 Startup Daily Best in Tech Awards - nominations open