I lead Crypto at Cross River. My mission is to close the gap between the 2.5 billion people who access retail banking services digitally and the 250M crypto users. I am building the technology that enables FinTech players to offer crypto-based products to their users.
Previously, I led product at Oasis Labs, creating the first scalable and privacy-preserving smart contract platform. The Network is now live in mainnet and it’s fully decentralized. I joined as the first non-software engineer employee and helped the team move from a research project at UC Berkeley to a 35-person venture-backed startup, raising $45M from a16z, Accel, Foundation, etc.
I also built/launched/managed products at Google, PayPal, AmEx, and P&G. I constantly analyze present and future trends to develop intuitions, which I then validate with data. Throughout my career, I have developed expertise in product, go-to-market, data, and engineering, both at large companies and startups, one of which I founded. I have aligned, led, and grown teams from 2 to 50 people.
As an angel investor and advisor, I look for ambitious teams that work to exploit the depth of their breakthrough insight. DeliveRex (acquired by JustEat) and Keyless (acquired by Sift) are a few examples. Some more recent investments include CloudWall, FreeTrade, Momento, Pulpo, Kift, and Asaak.
I am excited about companies building infrastructure layers to support complex and enormous markets, especially in FinTech and Web3. If you share similar interests, I’d love to connect.
A bit more about me
I started an offline advertising company when I was 24. That’s how I learned the rule of the 3 Ws: Wrong plan, Wrong execution, Wrong timing. If you get 1 out of 3 wrong, you’ll survive a few months; if you get 3 wrong, you learn (the hard way).
I live in Greenwich Village, New York and I am often in San Francisco, California. I hold an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas and Ms/Bs in Engineering from the University of Rome.
I also founded Berkeley StEP, a pre-accelerator that helps students get together and launch companies (150 so far; 10% of which received funding).
I believe in principles: integrity, honesty, loyalty, and reliability.
Family and close friends come first.
I am a rational optimist: I want to unblock limiting factors.
Some things I like:
engaging with people and situations that make me change my mind
digital and programmable money
coding and technical matters
reading biographies and explanations
djing and playing piano
- “Luca, I am considering working in crypto; can I pick your brain?”
- Programming Data and Money: The Data Market Yield
- Contact Tracing & Privacy: come risolvere il Trilemma
- Why Visa acquired Plaid
- London DeFi Summit: Key Takeaways
- Privacy is critical to mass adoption of Open Finance
- Life lessons I like or wish I knew before
- Relaunching the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association: introducing Berkeley StEP
- Data Scientist to Product Manager? It’s not a common path, they say
- Machine Learning: where to start from
- The Brexit Dilemma. Who’s the prisoner?
- The importance of Mentorship and how to get the most out of it
- Meeting Customers’ Expectations
- Stay Simple — the 3Bs framework