Former investment banker takes a stake in property fintech business
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David Criscuolo, a former investment banker from RBS, has taken a significant equity position in Yorkshire-based proptech company CurveBlock, whilst becoming its 33rd angel investor.
Company co-founder and MD of land & development, Matthew Couch, has been instrumental in this investment and collaboration with Criscuolo, which also further expands CurveBlocks portfolio of sites.
Criscuolo said: “I spent 20 years in the City working for financial institutions, starting on the trading floor of LIFFE with RBS.
“I also pioneered a new data trading system to integrate trades from separate exchanges across multi-asset classes as well as linking the front and back-office functions of the bank.
“I felt compelled to retire from the City in 2012 to run a small family business that was founded in 1863. In recent years I have turned my attention to property development.
“I’ve seen first-hand the issues with development finance, which is largely attributed to the unregulated industry in which it operates.
“The current lending format increases the risk of a project rather than deleveraging risk, so the process needs to change to allow a smoother transition to funding at more competitive market rates. Reduce costs, reduce risk, reduce returns, fewer failures, and increase housing units.”
CurveBlock has been set up to reduce borrowing and lending risk and at the same time has decided to divest development returns back to investors.
Rather than pairing investors with single projects, the company seeks to invest in multiple projects, increasing the original return back to the investor.
More importantly, it has sought to create links with the future of housing, embracing new technologies and producing sustainable housing that creates more energy than it consumes.
The latest investment and collaboration also brings a new and exciting joint venture into CurveBlocks development pipeline, which aims to deliver nine new carbon zero, energy positive family houses in London.
CurveBlock co-founder and chief revenue & compliance officer, Joey Jones, said: “Developing partnerships with people and companies that share our vision for financial inclusion and carbon zero, energy positive real estate is what we have always been about.
“To solidify this relationship with David Criscuolo is one more step, albeit a big step, in this journey and one that we at team CurveBlock are super excited about.”