Former Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson has invested R10m into Gather Online, a social discovery and messaging platform, and will join the company’s board as chairman. The money will be used to expand internationally.
With South African-born founders, Gather Online has developed an online communication service that “allows users to achieve real engagement with communities of like-minded people”. Dubbed “Snapchat for groups”, the service offers time-limited access to discussions on a variety of topics from careers and business to travel and health.
“Gather Online enables people to shift from passively consuming content, as is often the case with existing social networks, to connecting with like-minded individuals and having meaningful conversations,” said founder and CEO David Price in a statement. “It fills a real gap for engagement in the social media landscape.”
Price said Dawson’s investment will support Gather Online’s expansion plans. The company, which has operations in South Africa and Australia, has about 40 000 daily active users. It now intends to target Europe, the US and Asia for growth. The company has unexpectedly “gone viral” in locations it has not specifically targeted, it said.
“We believe 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,” Price said. “Gather Online overcomes this by facilitating more fruitful communication which has a beginning and an end, like we have in real life.”
Dawson’s R10m investment is part of a third seed-funding round, which has been expanded due to oversubscription. “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.” — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media