Former Dimension Data chief executive Brett Dawson will be joining social discovery and messaging platform Gather Online, after backing the company with a $1 million investment to support its international expansion.
Dawson will be joining the Gather Online’s board of directors as chairman, working at the company’s Sydney-based headquarters.
Gather Online founder and chief executive David Price says the investment made by Dawson would help support the planned expansion of the company, which currently boasts 40,000 daily active users.
Price says the $1 million investment by Dawson was part of a third seed funding round which has been expanded due to oversubscription.
Gather Online is an online communication service that - according to the company - allows users to engage with communities of like-minded people.
Dubbed by some as the ‘Snapchat for groups’, 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,” Price says.
“It fills a real gap for engagement in the current social media landscape, in that you only connect to content you are interested in.”
While operations are based out of Australia and South Africa, the company has plans to achieve international growth by targeting the large number of social media users in Europe, the United States and Asia.
It says it will focus a significant amount of its intentions on dominating markets that are neglected by other players.
Price adds, “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. Gather Online overcomes this by facilitating more fruitful communication which has a beginning and an end, like we have in real life.”
Gather Online has established a range of strategic business relationships to support its growth and increase awareness of the platform.
These include partnerships with tertiary education institutions, media organisations, not for profits and charities as well as corporates, in the US, Australia, South Africa and the UK.
“Other partnerships will be established as part of a concerted B2B outreach as the company expands its international reach,” Price says.
“Our platform allows organisations to leverage their supporters to reach and engage with new customers and supporters so partnerships are a natural win-win.”