Update: Kuldea has now relaunched as ufurnish.com. Read out interview with Deirdre about the reband here.
Startups are often formed when entrepreneurs can’t find a solution to a problem they’re facing, prompting them to set up a company. That was the case for Deirdre McGettrick, who founded Kuldea – stylised in full, in the vein of booking.com – after struggling to find the perfect furniture products for her home.
The company, which was originally called Kuldea, brings furniture retailers and products together onto one website, allowing people to search for items without hassle. The company recently completed its first round of investment, raising £150k from two investors, and plans to embark on a larger round at the end of the year to fuel its growth.
We spoke to McGettrick to find out more.
What is the story of your company?
Deirdre McGettrick: Leaving my corporate life behind, I jumped into the land of startups full time in April. I’m extremely proud to be a female founder of a tech startup which is disrupting the £9bn Homeware and Home Furnishings market in the UK.
Talk us through your team
I’ve founded the business alongside my business partner Ray, who is also my fiancé. Together we have built the business from inception to the live website that you can see today.
Kuldea’s team is made of developers, marketers and operational people. We’re in the middle of a hiring spree, aiming to onboard 10 new people over the coming months.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Connecting consumers with all furniture retailers and products, ending the frustrating furniture search journey. As part of furnishing my apartment, I’ve had plenty of inspiration from various sources such as Instagram, Pinterest, friends’ homes, restaurants, and hotels – but the issue always came to finding that item I had set my heart on having.
I would spend a long time going from website to website, re-entering my search terms but always wondering what I was missing out on by only searching the main furniture retailers that constantly came up on the first page of Google.
How do you help your users get the most out of Kuldea?
I want to help people feel confident in their purchasing decisions. This is firstly achieved from my detailed ‘top tips’ articles, which explain how to make them. Second, we give users the ability to search the entire market in one place, ensuring they can make their purchasing decision with confidence and are not missing out on another more suited product with better functionality, design or price.
What was your ‘Eureka’ moment?
I kept asking my fiancé why a furniture aggregator doesn’t exist, and it was like a lightbulb turning on – I thought we should build one. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and for a long time I’ve loved all things interior design.
I realised that day that I was never going to have a better opportunity to start a business in an area that I feel as passionate about as I do with interior design. It was an opportunity too big to ignore and I knew I would regret not doing in later life, so I had to go for it.
What makes you better than the competition?
Being a furniture search and comparison site is a new concept. Currently consumers search on each individual retailer website or in-store. That being said, as the market develops we’ll continue to differentiate Kuldea with our passion for interior design.
It’s all about providing people with maximum choice and the ability to find the right product with ease and enjoyment, not unlike the solution Skyscanner provides for flights.
What’s it like being a tech company in London?
It’s been amazing – people are so supportive. Their willingness to share their advice and lessons they learned from their experiences in business has been invaluable. I’m also particularly thankful to have other startups that I can chat to about what they are going through. Sharing our journeys is reassuring to know we aren’t the only ones facing the issues we have to overcome.