Food marketplace Gathar launches Microwd crowdfunding campaign

    Queensland catering startup Gathar is launching a crowdfunding campaign on female founder-focused platform Microwd.

    Gathar is the self-proclaimed “Airbnb of diners,” matching hosts with caterers, from chefs to talented home cooks.

    Expressions of interest in the crowdfunding campaign open today on Microwd, which one renamed from ‘Pledgeme’ last year.

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

    Gathar caterers come to your home, vacation home or office and cook, serve and wash afterwards.

    The company initially launched in Cairns and Port Douglas, where the founders are based, and has now expanded to 10 national markets, including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and the holiday destinations of Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

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

    Gathar’s gross trade volume (GMV) increased by 247% in 2021 and a further increase of 163% in 2022.


    Gathar dining experience

    CEO and co-founder Jodie Mlikota said the capital raised would expand the company’s presence in the US, enhance its recently introduced meal prep offerings and scale its in-house B2B and technology teams.

    “In just five years, Gathar has established itself as Australia’s go-to platform for private chefs, with a presence in over 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 come together, we eat, because sharing food is sharing connection. Gathar is busy helping people make memories, one ‘gatharing’ at a time.

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

    Megan Owen, CEO of Microwd, says she launched a dedicated crowdfunding platform to bring more visibility to investment opportunities in companies led by inspirational women like Gathar.

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

    “Women founders receive only about 3% of venture capital funding globally. That has to change. By providing a tangible investment mechanism, rather than just rhetoric, we can help facilitate change.”


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