Search and comparison website for home furniture and furnishings, ufurnish.com, has closed £2.3m in funding and appointed the founder and CEO of Dalata Hotel Group, Pat McCann, as chairman.

Launched in 2019 by Deirdre Mc Gettrick and Ray Wright, ufurnish.com brings more than 125 retailers together onto one website with an aim to simplify furniture search. The couple approached Pat in 2018 for advice, and his advice stuck with them, they say.

Pat notes: “I have been involved with ufurnish.com as an investor and advisor since its inception. Deirdre and Ray have put together a really fantastic team and I am very excited about the prospects for this business.”

Pat is one of Ireland's best-known international entrepreneurs, with a track record of success dating back to 1969 when he joined the Ryan Hotel Group. He was appointed CEO of Jury's Hotel Group in 2000, prior to setting up Dalata Hotel Group in 2007 which he grew to 44 hotels across Ireland and the UK. Dalata is listed on both the London Stock Market and Dublin Stock Market and has a market cap of some €1b.

Alongside his Dalata responsibilities, Pat is an immediate past president and current director of IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) and a board member of housebuilder Glenveagh Properties. On March 2nd 2021, he announced his retirement from Dalata Hotel Group. His executive role will cease in December 2021 and his board role will cease in April 2022.

Pat joins ufurnish.com as chairman at a time when the company is rapidly disrupting the (estimated) £25.5b home furniture market in the UK. 

Deirdre Mc Gettrick comments: “Pat McCann is a visionary business leader and his appointment as chairman is a massive triumph for our business at a time of huge growth. His experience and passion for building businesses and brands will be critical to us as we scale. We are delighted to have a person of Pat's calibre on the journey with us. 

"2020 was a breakout year for ufurnish.com. As a company we are growing up fast and ensuring we have proper structures and good governance will be key to our continued success.”

2021 has already seen the business achieve month-on-month growth exceeding +90%. “Our next key milestone will be closing our Series A investment raise," says Deirdre. "We are actively speaking to investors at this current time to help us accelerate our growth plans. We are targeting a raise up to £10m and first conversations are progressing really strongly with a third of the round subscribed.”

Pat concludes: “I am delighted to have been asked to join the new board of directors as chairman. I am really looking forward to working with this great team and helping exploit the full potential of what ufurnish.com can achieve.”

Read more about the background and direction of ufurnish.com in April's issue of Furniture News.