Clipboard, a free professional networking platform for the hospitality industry, has announced it will seek to raise its next round of funding via equity crowdfunding platform Birchal.
This will power its vision to transform the way the fragmented hospitality industry connects, shares experiences, markets and recruits.
With a growing member database of over 24,000 hospitality professionals and 5200 businesses, Clipboard has firmly established itself as an industry leader within the $8 trillion global hospitality and tourism sector.
By creating a one-stop hospitality network and ecosystem, Clipboard seamlessly connects industry professionals with the sector’s full supply chain, including wholesalers, suppliers, businesses and venues.
The Melbourne startup has some of Australia’s most renowned hospitality establishments onboard its platform, with customers including Ovolo Hotels, Quest Apartments, Prahran Market, The George Hotel and The Osborne Hotel.
Clipboard’s AI-driven offering aims to valuably impact and influence the hospitality community as it continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of these efforts, the company has teamed up with former Olympian and one of Australia’s leading experts on corporate health and wellness, Steph Prem, to develop the Clipboard Wellness Program; a program designed to nurture the mental wellness of the hospitality workforce by focusing on building critical areas such as resilience, motivation and mindfulness.
Other initiatives from the company include events and bootcamps to support industry professionals out of work due to COVID-19 with professional development, upskilling and wellness workshops.
Co-founded by Brendan Leeds (pictured), Clipboard’s CEO who has spent the last 20 years working in the hospitality field, and Tipu Sultan, Clipboard’s CTO who has worked in the information technology (IT) sector for 14 years, the platform is adding, on average, 450 users and 10 businesses per week.
Leeds said, “Hospitality and tourism is one of the most fragmented and transitional industries in our economy. These characteristics create massive inefficiencies and suppress global career opportunities and professional development for millions who operate within them.”
“The impact of COVID-19 has strangled the industries’ growth, put a standstill to recruitment and has had a ruinous effect on mental health and wellbeing for the community.”
“Through our technology, we are able to provide these sectors with the necessary tools to support and advance their needs. We are changing the way the industry connects and unites and we have partnered with the best companies to offer the greatest value to our members.”
“We are particularly passionate about supporting the community from a mental wellbeing perspective, building awareness and offering tangible solutions to give them genuine assistance and guidance – especially during challenging times.”
Clipboard enables hospitality businesses to set up dynamic, branded profiles to showcase their business type, cuisine type, location, and industry awards, whilst simultaneously equips hospitality professionals like baristas, bartenders, chefs and kitchen staff, to establish interactive, member profiles that display their skill sets, experiences, talents, passions and community connections.
While Clipboard is first and foremost a professional networking platform that aims to better connect and promote industry professionals and the sector’s full supply chain, Clipboard’s ‘Job Portal’ also automatically scans prospective applicants and matches them with posted job descriptions, creating a more accessible, central location for career growth.
Tipu Sultan said: “For hospitality professionals, the ability to create a professional brand and grow a professional network has never been more important. Clipboard is vital for providing the right opportunities by connecting professionals with a global network to help ensure they reach their career goals. Additionally, as Clipboard is a centralised networking platform, whatever connections businesses seek, we are able to provide them with the resources to continually grow and meet their immediate and long-term objectives.”
The focus of Clipboard’s Birchal campaign will be to raise the funds needed to support product innovation, including the development of Clipboard’s mobile application, enhance customer experience, expedite future offerings, such as onboarding further suppliers, wholesalers and the hospitality training community onto the platform, as well as commence its expansion into Southeast Asia.
Simon Lennox, owner of The Osborne Hotel, said, “I have been in the industry for over 30 years and have always believed that relationships are key to success. I have built a strong relationship with Clipboard and we work closely together to maximise the success of both our businesses. Clipboard gave us much needed industry profile with my businesses being highlighted in videos and feature articles.”
“At the time we were opening a new venue and it also highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry in Australia. I have increased my network, raised our profile and hired staff via Clipboard – it has been an essential tool to doing business. We have some exciting plans for collaborative activations and programs in the near future.”
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