Engineering the perfect gaming stool: a brief history of Karo

25/05/2019 in News

From the very start, Karo has been dedicated to the pursuit of creating the perfect chair. Founded in 1986 by two South African engineers, the company has designed and developed a myriad of different seats, from kneeling chairs to gaming stools.

In a recent interview, Australian Managing Director Mike Karle provided some insight into Karo’s story and ethos. Here a brief glimpse of the history of the company.

Karo’s beginnings

Over 30 years ago, the team at Karo was primarily focused on the design of office chairs. That is, until the leaders saw a huge window of opportunity.

“In the late 90’s, the gambling market in South Africa changed, allowing casinos to be developed,” Mike explains. “There was a huge gap in the market because no local companies were making gaming stools and the majority were sourced from the USA.”

After landing the business of the first (and largest) casino in South Africa, Karo slowly gained control of the gaming seat market in the country and still has a monopoly there today.

Taking off in Australia

In 2004, the team at Karo saw another opportunity for expansion into Australia where there is a demand for gaming stools. After moving to New South Wales, Mike realised that building a network and clientele base in Australia might not be as straightforward as anticipated.

“Starting a business here was difficult, mainly because the products are different and the way of doing business is different,” clarifies Mike. “Nobody had ever heard of us – we had no network, so building a business wasn’t easy.”

According to Mike, it took the best part of five and a half years to become successful in Australia. Today, Karo is one of the leading brands in the country.

Comprised primarily of innovative engineers who utilise the latest technology, the entire team at Karo is intimately involved in the constant improvement of the company. Unlike many competitors, we manufacture our own stools in South Africa and ship the products around the world.

What makes Karo unique?

“The goal of Karo is to continually improve and develop new products,” explains Mike. “We are an engineering and technology driven company, and we focus on providing superior customer value.”

It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve come a long way since the ’80s. In the 33 years Karo has been in business, we’ve established a broad clientele of clubs, pubs, hotels and casinos on five continents and are constantly expanding. For more information about Karo’s wide range of pokie stools, reach out to us today.

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