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Entrepreneurs

Kompany’s Manchester Development To Start

Work is expected to start soon on former Manchester City footballer Vincent Kompany’s mixed use property development in Ancoats, Manchester. Contractor Artez has signed a deal to build the scheme with a completion date set for summer 2021, Place North West reports. The development will comprise around 24,000 sq ft of offices on the ground floor, with 23 one bed, 47 two bed and five three bed apartments on the upper floors. The scheme is being progressed through M4nchester Two Limited, a development company owned by

ID Checking App Thirdfort Raises £700,000

ID checking app Thirdfort has raised a seed round of £700,000 led by Mishcon de Reya, personal investment from Chris Marks, CEO of NatWest Markets, and support from existing investors including Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman and Lawyer Checker. Thirdfort is a web and mobile app which combines document scanning and facial recognition technology with Open Banking to streamline identity and source of funds checks carried out by lawyers in property transactions. It brings the company’s total investment raised to £1.3m.

Jon Hunt’s Property Firm Sales Growing

Property entrepreneur Jon Hunt’s investment and development company Ocubis has reported sales growth and continues to be confident in the London commercial market a report says. The Evening Standard reports that turnover grew 5% to £19.7m last year and occupancy rates increased across its London office portfolio, although pre-tax profits fell slightly to £5.7m. Matt Gresham, COO at Ocubis told the Evening Standard the sale of some sites this year, including a proposed hotel site in Shoreditch, was done in order “to

ZapfloorHQ Raises €1m For Space Management Platform

Proptech start-up ZapFloorHQ has raised €1m (about £0.89m) to develop its co-working space management platform. The investment has been provided by the LeanSquare investment fund and Stefan Grosjean. ZapFloorHQ is a platform for co-working spaces and multi-user office buildings that not only handles back-end administration for building managers and building occupants with its SaaS (Software as a Service) platform but also helps develop them into genuine communities. Thomas Celen, co-founder and CEO of ZapFloorHQ,

Trump Drops Down Rich List, Property Partly To Blame

President Donald Trump has dropped down the latest Forbes 400 Rich List, and is now only the 275th richest person in America – 119 places lower than before he became president. Forbes estimates that Donald Trump is still worth $3.1bn, but that this is the second straight year his fortune has remained flat in their rankings, in times when many of his billionaire peers have become richer. The report explains that while some of Trump’s real estate investments have gained in value this year, and he has added $10m to

Birmingham To Get £25m Surfing Centre

A planning application has been made to develop a 15 acre surfing centre on a site at Coleshill just to the east of Birmingham. The application has been made by Emerge Surf Birmingham who are proposing to invest £25m in a 5.4 acre surf lagoon utilising artificial wave technology, plus an outdoor heated swimming pool, electric skateboard track and related leisure facilities. The scheme is designed to exploit the growing popularity of surfing in a central England location which has poor access to the sea and aims to

Chesterman Raises Another £25m For Cazoo

Cazoo, the used car retailing website being set up by Zoopla and Lovefilm founder Alex Chesterman, has raised another £25m funding. The latest funding round was led by existing investors including dmg ventures, Stride.VC, Octopus Ventures and Entrée Capital and will be used to grow the team and invest in marketing operations reports say. Alex Chesterman founder and CEO said: “We are delighted to have closed this further funding round, giving us significant firepower to fuel our growth after we launch later this year.

Plymouth’s Iconic Drake’s Island Sold

The island in Plymouth Sound from which Sir Francis Drake set sail to circumnavigate the globe in 1577 has been sold to the boss of a local specialist construction company, a local press report says. The 2.6 ha Drake’s Island has been on the market since late 2018 with an asking price of £6m, although the eventual selling price has not been disclosed. The island has been bought by Morgan Phillips of Guardian Industrial UK (GIUK). It currently has planning permission for use as a hotel and spa, although Phillips has

Flatfair Raises $11m For Expansion

Proptech company Flatfair has raised $11m in a funding round led by Index Ventures, and which will be used to help expand its deposit-free renting platform. Flatfair says the funding will help it to scale ‘far and wide’ in order to bring deposit-free renting to everyone, while it is also planning a major recruitment drive to expand its team from 25 to 100. Franz Doerr, Flatfair CEO, spoke to Dealmakerz recently about his ambitions for Flatfair. Commenting on the deal Martin Mignot at Index Ventures, which has a

Reuben Brothers On Majorca Buying Spree

Property moguls David and Simon Reuben seem to be engaged on something of a buying spree in Majorca, having bought up several prime parcels of land there this year. The Reubens' latest purchase is a 214 ha plot near Cala Mesquida in the Capdepera municipality in the north east of the island, reports say. The plot includes two villas and a 1.3km sea frontage. The brothers are said to have bought two further separate seafront plots in January and February this year, in the Manacor and Arta districts, and the latest

Issa Brothers’ EG Group Makes Major US Investment

EG Group, the business founded and run by property moguls Mohsin and Zuber Issa, has agreed to buy US company Cumberland Farms which operates 600 fuel stations and convenience stores across seven US states. The acquisition maintains EG Group’s position as the world’s leading independent fuel station and convenience retailer, operating around 5,000 sites across 8 countries including the US and Europe with annual revenue around $20bn. Mohsin Issa, Founder and Co-CEO, EG Group said: “Whilst we believe EG can add a

Chesterman’s Cazoo Is ‘One To Watch’ Experts Say

The used car business being set up by one-time Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman is one of the upcoming motor retail and mobility start-ups to watch, so says AM Online, a motor industry website. Tom Seymour of AM Online says that forward-thinking automotive retailers are looking at mobility services and new ways to evolve the customer journey over the next decade and a number of new start ups are vying to dominate the market of which Chesterman’s new venture is one. Cazoo, which is expected to launch later in 2019, will

GuestReady Makes Top Ten In Startups 100 Index

GuestReady, the global short term rental management company, has been listed at number 9 in the UK’s top 100 Startups index of new disruptive businesses launched in the last five years. It was the only hospitality/travel startup that made the top 10 beating off stiff competition, including from its direct competitors and companies like Airsorted and Hostmaker. GuestReady offers premium property management services to property investors, homeowners and Airbnb hosts to boost the success of their properties on the

Peel Group’s Whittaker ‘Liquidating His Stakes’

John Whittaker, Executive Chairman of The Peel Group, is liquidating his stakes in Peel Ports and Liverpool Airport, The Times newspaper claims. The newspaper says that Whittaker is taking this action as his “finances have been stretched” by the “plummeting value” of shopping centre owner Intu Properties due to the current “retail bloodbath”. Peel Group owns 27.3% of Intu and its share price has declined by around 70% in three years. Whittaker, ranked 77th in the latest Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune

Trump Used Royal Family To Promote Developments, Claims

US President Donald Trump used the British Royal family to ‘gin up’ publicity for his property developments for a number of years, CNN claim. The report alleges that between 1981 and 1995 multiple claims that members of the Royal family were joining Trump properties, which likely originated from Trump himself, appeared in New York tabloids and national papers. These included a 1983 claim that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were planning to buy a $5m apartment in the then newly launched Trump Tower in New York. The