Michael Schrieber - looking to increase funtainment sector in New Zealand.

‘Funtainment’ company FunLab, the brains behind the bars that shook up Auckland’s hospitality industry, Holey Moley and Archie Brothers Cirque Electric, has announced plans for substantial investment and growth in the New Zealand market.

The news follows the purchase of FunLab by San Francisco based TPG Capital at the end of 2020, a move which will enable growth for the group.

The substantial investment from the sale gives FunLab the opportunity to investigate expansion in new locations, both in Auckland and throughout the country.

With two successful Auckland venues, the company is looking to replicate its success in other regions throughout the country, injecting both cash and job opportunities into local economies.

Since making a splash in the New Zealand market in 2018 with the opening of Holey Moley in Auckland’s Viaduct precinct, the team at FunLab has had their eyes on other regions within New Zealand.

The company has seen a huge number of requests from Kiwis across the country wanting the brand’s “funtainment” experiences in their towns and cities.

Across both New Zealand and Australia, FunLab is looking to double its portfolio by working towards a goal of a combined 40,000sqm of real estate space across 30 additional sites, with the potential of creating 1,500 additional jobs. The company is also looking to introduce new ‘funtainment’ concepts and venues within the next couple of years.

With each venue under the FunLab umbrella requiring management, front of house and technical support staff, the company is looking to create both part-time and full-time job positions for Kiwis. With some larger venues requiring up to 150 employees, the company is hoping to create 1,000 jobs across the new venue openings in New Zealand over the next few years.

FunLab attributes its success to date to the uniqueness of the experiences provided by the group, which has been reflected in the company’s post COVID performance and high level of customers post-lockdown. The company’s New Zealand operation is currently operating revenue in excess of $12million annually.

“2020 has given us even more motivation to introduce new experiences to the New Zealand market. We want to ensure we can cater to a variety of demographics, innovating to deliver unique and contemporary takes on established forms of entertainment and activity”, explains Michael Schreiber, CEO of FunLab.

Michael is confident that the business’ five-year expansion plan will make the company the ‘Disney of out-of-home entertainment’ and the largest provider of ‘funtainment’ in the southern hemisphere thanks to the help of TPG Capital’s investment.

“We see significant room for growth in both the Australian and New Zealand markets, with the aim to launch new venues in New Zealand from 2022 onwards”, he says.

“At FunLab, we firmly believe that as we get bigger, we need to think smaller and work locally to continue to deliver the quality experiences that Holey Moley and Archie Brothers are renowned for. This means we can work with our amazing partners to operate in additional locations to reach more Kiwis.”

As the first step in FunLab’s expansion journey, Michael, Zak Gelfand, FunLab’s Head of Property and Blaise Witnish, FunLab’s Head of Brand and Innovation will be meeting with key New Zealand commercial property developers from around the country, virtually this week.

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