Australia’s fastest growing hospitality platform, Barcats, has closed a $2.4 million round of seed funding to help provide much needed job opportunities for Australians.
Originally launched in 2017, the company has built a digital ecosystem that helps thousands of hospitality businesses fill open roles with qualified, engaged talent.
The fresh funding will be used to build on foundations and accelerate growth in Australia and in key overseas markets, while helping the dynamic industry as it struggles amidst COVID lockdowns across the country.
The startup has temporarily suspended payments for subscription customers in NSW and Victoria and is working hard to help the industry with a number of initiatives.
Barcats CEO Jeffrey Williams says “We are connecting staff to jobs at venues which are still hiring during the lockdowns, and encouraging staff to use the time in lockdown to update their profiles and skills so they are ready to work as soon as it ends.”
“Barcats is also offering free online training via its partners and sponsors, and we are sharing content from RUOK to ensure the hospitality community is looking out for one another.”
Mr Williams added “The impact of the global pandemic and border closures has created an opportunity for us to really champion home-grown talent and encourage Australians to upskill and consider a career in the hospitality industry.”
The leading hospitality platform has processed more than 340,000 job applications in the last four years, and here are over 97,000 workers using the platform. 27,000 venues all over Australia and New Zealand are jumping on board.
Barcats has secured key industry players Diageo, Vitasoy, ResDiary and Payo, as new sponsors and has partnered with various new training organisations including working directly with the Federal Government DESE (Department of Education, Skills and Employment) to upskill workers and secure employment outcomes.
Entrepreneur Chris Morris, Founder of Computershare and owner of the Colonial Leisure Group, has extended his share in the start-up, and Barcats welcomes new investors including Ross Greenwood, Garry Lord, David Zehner, and the early-stage venture capital firm Investible, who were early backers of the global graphic design platform Canva.
“In a difficult period for hospitality, Barcat’s mission to become a global community, supporting the growth and improvement of the industry resonates strongly. Barcats solves some of the industry’s critical pain points: on-demand casual recruitment, upskilling and brand connection.” said Investible’s Investment Director Daniel Veytsblit.
Leading the board and the start-up’s growth plans is newly appointed Chairman Garry Browne AM, a prominent businessman and community figure. Browne is the former CEO and current Chairman of Stuart Alexander & Co.
With continued support from top industry leaders Lion, Nestle, Treasury Wine Estates, Brown Forman, Campos and Club Plus Super, Barcats will continue to review growth and expansion opportunities in Australia, New Zealand and further afield.
Lion, a leading beverages company in Australasia, is a significant foundation investor in Barcats. “We are really pleased with how the investment is paying off. It’s rewarding to see the company grow and support the hospitality community,” said Beverage DirectorRod O’Connell – Beverage Director – Lion Australia.
In unpredictable times, Barcats remains an integral asset for the hospitality industry to ensure Australians are connected with ongoing job opportunities, helping the economy to grow.