Curtis Stone-backed catering platform Gathar serves up $800,000 crowdfunding round

    Queensland home catering platform Gathar has raised nearly $800,000 in a crowdfunding for Microwd, targeting a female founder.

    Dubbed the Airbnb of dinner parties, the private chef platform partnered with celebrity expat chef Curtis Stone to bring the concept to the US and launch in his home state of California in early 2023.

    More than 80 investors gave $797,500 to the Microwd CSF campaign.

    Co-founder and CEO Jodie Mlikota launched Gathar in 2018, initially in her home cities of Cairns and Port Douglas in the far north of Queensland. It has now expanded to 30 markets nationally, including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and Queensland’s holiday destinations of Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast, and 35 globally.

    “We are delighted with the results of our first crowdfunding campaign. We were hoping to raise at least $500,000, so to raise almost $800,000 in today’s market was a fantastic result,” said Mlikota.

    “We have a vision to become the number one global platform for great culinary experiences, and we are excited to bring both sophisticated and mom and dad investors on that journey.
    We were particularly encouraged 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 home or office and cook, serve and wash afterwards. Demand was up 330% at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and had posted more than $5 million in revenue at the launch of the increase, which had sought 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 catered for major brands such as Amazon, TikTok and SheIn.

    “After launching in California earlier this year, we’ve since expanded into Texas, with more states on the way,” she said.

    “We also look forward to enhancing our already popular new meal preparation offerings, while expanding our internal B2B and technology teams to ensure we can best meet market needs.

    Former bank manager and CEO of Microwd Megan Owen launched the crowdfunding platform last year to support female entrepreneurs in the fight to raise money and has already had several successful campaigns, including for Mizzie the Kangaroo and Hoopsy.

    Gathar’s founder said “they couldn’t have wished for a better partner” for their first crowdfunding campaign.

    “Megan is not only passionate about supporting female-led growth companies, she is also very successful in her own way and has helped us every step of the way,” she said.

    Mlikota said their vision is to become “the number one global platform for great culinary experiences,” from intimate dinners to weekly family meals and large corporate events.

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