RetailInvestment, a search and discovery platform for home furniture and furnishings, has raised £3.4 million in seed funding.

Led by co-founder and CEO Deirdre Mc Gettrick, a former star in the world of finance, it brings the total funding raised by the ‘Rightmove for furniture’ to £5.2m.

Mc Gettrick will speak on our panel – The platforms optimising online retail – at Manchester Digital’s eCommerce Conference 2023 on 23rd March. You can sign up here.

On International Women’s Day, Mc Gettrick – a former vice president of HSBC’s leverage and acquisition finance team, where she oversaw £20 billion-plus acquisition facilities for FTSE 100 players – spoke about the importance of highlighting the role of female investors.

‘We have to highlight female investors’

London-based’s female backers include Camelia Robu, head of leveraged finance EMEA at Macquarie Capital; Caroline Worboys, founder of data company HDM Worboys – which she sold to News International – and founder of data company Outra; Ciara McElligott, principal at Tetrarch Capital, an Irish real estate business; Jenn Engelhardt, corporate partner at Latham & Watkins; Michele Connolly, partner at KPMG; Rosaleen Blair, founder and chair of Alexander Mann Solutions; and Sara Sullivan, a former banker and member of Angel Academe, an angel network investing in female-founded tech businesses and introducing more women to angel investing.

Among her male backers are Darren Ryemill, who sold Opus Talent Solutions to Graphite Capital; Tony Smurfit, CEO of paper and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa Group; and Pat McCann, former CEO of Jury’s Hotel Group and founder of Dalata Hotel Group. McCann is the chairman of

The government Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) has been a big driver in being able to attract investors, says Mc Gettrick.

“It reduces the risk of investing in early stage companies for investors. As many of my investors are first-time investors, being able to explain the tax benefits of EIS investments was key to securing their investment,” she said.

Marketplace has built partnerships with 100+ furniture retailers including John Lewis, Bensons for Beds, SCS, Dunelm, Wayfair and Heal’s. It has also launched a strategic partnership with Santander to help its mortgage customers furnish their homes.

The business, which has now had 8m website visits and employs 18 people, graduated from London & Partners, the Mayor’s international business programme which counts Revolut, Monzo and Farfetch among its alumni.

It also came through Beyond HERizons, a programme specifically targeted at supporting female founders.

My ‘scary’ decision to ditch finance world for furniture dream

The latest funding will be used to grow awareness of as a solution to furniture consumers across the whole of the UK market and expand its retail partnerships. 

One recent partnership is with Industville, led by Mara Miller, who was inspired to set up the company after moving into an apartment in an industrial-style building and struggling to find lights that would fit in with the architecture. 

Coincidentally, Miller and Mc Gettrick live in the same development in London. “It’s crazy to think both our businesses have arisen within 100 metres of each other after facing challenges furnishing our homes,” said the latter.