Queensland at-home catering platform Gathar has raised nearly $800,000 in a crowdfunding on the female-founder focused Microwd.
The private chef platform, dubbed the Airbnb of dinner parties, partnered with expat celebrity chef Curtis Stone to take the concept to the US, kicking off in his home state of California at the start of 2023.
More than 80 investors tipped $797,500 into the Microwd CSF campaign.
Cofounder and CEO Jodie Mlikota launched Gathar in 2018, initially in her far north Queensland home cities of Cairns and Port Douglas. It 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.
“We are thrilled with the results of our first crowdfunding campaign. We hoped to raise a minimum of $500,000, so securing almost $800,000 in the current market was a fantastic outcome,” Mlikota said.
“We have a vision to become the number one global platform for amazing culinary experiences, and we’re excited to bring both sophisticated and mum and dad investors on that journey with us.
We were particularly heartened to see so many people from our community come on board, with many of our chefs, customers and staff investing in our future growth.”
Gathar caterers come to your home, holiday house, or office and cook, serve, and wash up after. Demand soared by 330% at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it had booked more than $5 million in revenue by the launch of the raise, which had been looking to raise up to $2 million on a pre-money valuation of $12.3 million.
Mlikota said the cash injection will be used to expand in the US. Gathar US has already delivered catering for big brands such as Amazon, TikTok and SheIn.
“After launching in California earlier this year, we’ve since expanded into Texas, with more states to come,” she said.
“We’re also looking forward to enhancing our already popular new meal prep offering, while growing our in-house B2B and technology teams to ensure we can best meet the needs of the market.
Former banking exec and Microwd CEO Megan Owen launched the crowdfunding platform last year to support women entrepreneurs in the battle to raise and already has multiple successful campaigns under its belt, including for Mizzie the Kangaroo and Hoopsy.
The Gathar founder said “they couldn’t have asked for a better partner” for their first crowdfunding campaign.
“Not only is Megan is passionate about supporting women-led growth companies, she is also highly-successful in her own right and has helped us every step of the way,” she said.
Mlikota said their vision is to become “the number one global platform for amazing culinary experiences”, from intimate dinner parties to weekly family meals and large corporate events.