Dubai-based interior design and fit-out company Interact Group has raised US$3 million in funding from an undisclosed UK-based construction group. Specializing in interiors for the hospitality and Food & Beverage (F&B) sectors, Interact Group says it has managed to attract large players and bag high profile contracts including a project for full fit-out of the Park Regis in Jumeriah, just a year and half into its launch. Commenting on the fundraising, Shane Curran, CEO, Interact Group says that this was the first time the group sought external funding, and adds that “it was actually the investor that approached Interact Group” looking at the design company’s past projects. As momentum picks up in the UAE’s hospitality sector, Interact Group plans to utilize the finances in consolidating its Dubai business, and expanding its services to other regions. More specifically, the funds have been earmarked for purchase of a 25,000 sq ft. joinery (woodwork interiors) facility- which Curran expects would help them deliver end-to-end services to clients with reduced reliance on subcontractors.
“Dubai, on average, has four new F&B outlets opening each day so there are endless opportunities for companies like Interact Group to flourish in the sector,” says Curran. Admitting that the UAE market is currently not “as robust as we would all hope for” he predicts a “sharp upturn” in early 2018, and hopes that Interact Group will be poised to stake a claim for projects then. The company is also hopeful of benefitting from the fact that the investor in the current round is a major construction player, allowing them to leverage on their experience. “It will also see our interior design department work closely with them on their upcoming hotel projects,” adds Curran. Offering pointers for aspiring entrepreneurs to follow, based on his own experience in fundraising, Curran says, “You have to believe your company or product is about to change its industry, you need to be honest on every detail of where your company currently sits financially, and most [important] of all, you have to make a personal connection with your investor because if you don't fit, then doing business together will always be a strain.”