Gather Online has just appointed former Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson as its board chairperson. Dawson has not only joined the board as its chairperson but is also now the company’s largest external investor after a USD 830 K investment in the company. His outlay has seen the ex-chief take up a 10% stake in the Jo-burg outfit. Dawson comes in after completing a 12-year stint at Dimension Data where he was accredited for quadrupling their revenues to USD 8 Bn, helping the company globalize.
Gather online was launched in Australia by CEO David Price and Michael van Andel but also has offices in Johannesburg. Although they are yet to generate any revenue, the Jo-burg based outfit has already successfully raised USD 1 Mn in its first round of funding. Their joint venture with Dawson and a further USD 166 K added last November made Price increase the funding cap to USD 1.20 Mn.
Price has expressed that the company has every intention to use the funds raised to increase their global presence. He insists that “Funds will be used to improve the platform and to scale it to the levels that would interest Series A Venture Capital funds later this year.” If this round of funding was anything to go by then, Gather Online has a tremendous year to look forward to.
As per the company, there is a significant opportunity for a platform that encourages people to become more engaged with each other. On the other major platforms, a post only gets engagement from about 1% of people, so 99% are passively consuming.
The challenge now for Dawson and his board is to enhance the user experience aspect of the online platform while ensuring that its revenue models remain an attractive prospect for investors later this year.