UPDATED, Jan. 9, 12:17 p.m.: Doug and Erin Curry abandoned plans to launch a new commercial real estate data company, citing the specter of legal action by the trustee of their former employer, Xceligent.
“Doug and Erin have been notified by the Trustee in the Xceligent bankruptcy that it intends to vigorously enforce our 2012 agreements that include nonsolicitation and noncompete language” Erin Curry wrote in a statement shared with former employees and customers via Facebook and email that was reviewed by The Real Deal. “We are concerned with the risk and cost of pursuing the Intrepid CRE Initiative at this time and have decided not to go forward.”
The Currys, who co-founded Xceligent in the late 1990s, were ousted from the company’s leadership in October as it was struggling to expand into New York City while waging a costly legal battle against its main rival, CoStar Group. In December, Xceligent, which is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust, shut down and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.
Over the past few weeks, the Currys were quietly working on launching Intrepid CRE, a built-from-scratch data business they said would be self-funded.
“We are rebuilding from the ground up with a system that cannot be challenged by CoStar,” Erin wrote on Facebook last week.
“We appreciate the overwhelming support from the industry and all the letters we received from across the country,” Doug told TRD Monday. “We are sorry that we don’t have the financial resources to complete the initial mission.”
DMGT, which also owns CRE data firms Trepp and BuildFax, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Following publication of this article, Doug sent the following statement to TRD: “The CRE industry needs competition in the marketplace to help them keep data costs reasonable and fair. It is unfortunate that the legal system is set up in such a way as to allow substantive abuse; effectively using it to force competition out of business. So for now, for me and my wife, we are stepping away to let the industry carry this torch forward. That’s all folks.”