Social discovery and messaging platform, Gather Online, has announced that former Dimension Data chief executive, Brett Dawson, will be joining its board of directors as chairman, accompanying his investment of R10 million to support the company’s planned international expansion.
With South African-born founders, Gather Online has been dubbed ‘Snapchat for groups’ and the service offers time-limited access to discussions on a wide 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 chief Executive, David Price.
“It fills a real gap for engagement in the current social media landscape,” he said.
Price said that the investment made by Dawson would support the company’s ambitious expansion plans.
Gather Online already has more than 40,000 daily active users with the most avid users having daily sessions exceeding 20 minutes, he said.
While operations are based out of Australia and South Africa, the company plans to achieve consistent growth through targeting the large number of social media users in Europe, the United States and Asia, where it has already got a foothold.
The company has unexpectedly gone viral in locations it has not specifically targeted, but says it will focus a significant amount of its intentions on dominating markets that are neglected by other players in the market.
Price said that the R10 million investment by Dawson was part of a successful third seed funding round which has been expanded due to oversubscription. A further R2 million out of R14 million is now available for investment.
“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.”