Hospitality platform Barcats is continuing its incredible growth rate in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and has recently secured a number of new investors and sponsors with a $2.4m capital raise.
Lion is a significant investor in Barcats and Chris Morris, Founder of Computershare and owner of the Colonial Leisure Group, has extended his share in the start-up from 7.25 per cent to 12.9 per cent. In addition new investors in the business include business and finance expert, Ross Greenwood, the current Sky News Business Editor and Anchor.
Barcats has also 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.
Barcats CEO Jeffrey Williams said the funding from Morris, Greenwood and other new investors will be used to build on foundations in Australia and accelerate growth nationally and internationally.
Additional new investors include business and finance expert Garry Lord (co-founder of global Fintech OFX, formerly OzForex), David Zehner (Managing Partner at Bain Consulting) and Private Equity fund Investible, who were early backers of the global graphic design platform Canva.
Barcats has also appointed Garry Browne the former CEO and current Chairman of Stuart Alexander & Co as its new Chairman.
While the funding will be used to help Barcats in its growth plans it has also enabled the platform to help the hospitality industry as Williams explained.
“Barcats has temporarily, suspended payments for subscription customers in NSW and Victoria and is working hard to help the industry with a number of initiatives,” he said
“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.”
Williams added: “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.
“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. For example, students, unable to go on gap years and travel abroad, can help fill the staffing void left by the international travellers.”
Barcats has processed more than 340,000 job applications in the last four years, and in the last three years registered staff has increased by 500 per cent with 97,000 workers across 27,000 venues now using the platform.