Buying, Transforming, And Selling Companies, Responsibly.

Pim
Written by
- 6 min read

Today marks an important day in Corporate Rebels’ vaunted history: We're embarking on a new adventure to radically shake up the world of work. How? We're launching a new company together with some of the most inspiring workplace pioneers in the world.

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Here’s the deal: We don’t believe that work should be something you have to “get through” each day—and neither should you. Today, we turbocharge our crucial mission of creating revitalized workplaces that don’t drain people’s souls and make them hate their jobs.

No purpose? No interest!

At Corporate Rebels, there's never really a dull moment.

"Variety is the spice of life" is a quote we live by. Crafted by English poet William Cowper, but brought to me (slightly altered) through Cee Lo Green's cheeky lyrics.

While we're constantly on the lookout for new and exciting challenges, our mission is always clear and simple: to make work more fun.

If it doesn't fit that purpose, we're not interested.

Let’s rewind to about five years ago. In one of our earliest dreams of what Corporate Rebels could become, we envisioned one of the ultimate things we could do to spark a workplace revolution.

Today, that dream becomes a reality.

But let me pause right there for just a moment. Before I fill you in on that dream, let me again stress why we believe it's so important to change the way organizations work.

Workplace dystopia

We started Corporate Rebels really out of personal frustration. We hated corporate life and the insanely outdated way most organizations work.

And guess what? We learned that we were not alone. The majority of workers feel the same.

With 85% of employees disengaged, 23% feeling burned out, and 37% believing that their job makes no valuable contribution to society, work as we know it today is simply not working.

That’s because most companies are sterile, soulless places meticulously designed to crush creativity, passion, and bravery the moment they pop up—like a sick, counterproductive game of whack-a-mole that never ends but everyone still somehow loses.

The result? An employee engagement pandemic paired with a destructive focus on exploiting anything that stands in between corporates and their precious quarterly shareholder returns.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It really doesn’t.

To change this, we set out to visit pioneers that taught us alternative ways of working. While visiting and researching 150+ pioneers across the globe, we learned a whole new way to look at work: An approach based on freedom, trust, passion, and meaning.

We share it on our blog and in our book. We teach it in our Academy and spread it through talks and workshops.

Back to the dream

Okay, now, back to that dream from a few years ago. We envisioned an approach to directly change workplaces in a radical way. How? By buying, transforming, and selling companies.

To our great excitement, we recently joined Krisos, a company that's about to do just that.

Let me explain.

Krisos

Krisos—referring to both “golden” and “the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly”—is set up to facilitate a transition towards more humane organizations.

With Krisos, we do three things:

1. Buy

We look for businesses that are for sale and would benefit from a highly progressive way of working. Roughly, we're looking for companies with:

  • 40-100 employees
  • €5 - €10 million in revenues
  • €0 - €500,000 EBITDA
  • 5+ years of trading
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Ideally, these companies are facing some kind of challenge that makes change necessary. For example, it could be due to an economic downturn, poor management practice, need for succession, and other fun difficulties that no one really ever wants to deal with.

To buy these companies, we turn to investors who want to make money by doing good. (Yes, they do exist.)

And what do we offer? Solid returns and a chance to support a movement towards a new kind of capitalism; one that doesn’t exploit the resources and well-being of its workers at the expense of increasing profit.

2. Transform

Together with the employees, we transform these companies into highly engaging workplaces based on autonomy, self-management, radical transparency, and things of that sort.

And we use our favorite transformation approach to do so: the highly successful 'NER' approach as promoted by Ner Group.

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The best thing about it? Experienced people who have supported many such transformations are part of Krisos!

With a proven track record of 100+ successful transformations, it's crystal clear that we can make these companies more successful by unleashing untapped human potential.

Companies that have gone through this process have - on average - doubled profit in five years while revenues increased by 60%.

3. Sustain

Once we've transformed the acquired companies, we sell them. However, we won't just sell them traditionally. We know from experience that traditional ownership might jeopardize the progressive way of working and, therefore, the company’s success.

We don’t cultivate something this important to everyone involved and then simply hand it off to the highest bidder and hope for the best—we know what can happen to a newly acquired company and the employees who are then at the mercy of new ownership.

That's why we're turning these companies into so-called steward-owned companies. I won't go into too much detail, but this basically means that there's no way its progressive way of working can be undone. We legally protect it from the typical command-and-control destruction often perpetrated by the corporate vultures who don’t give a single shit about their workers.

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Our vision is to grow Krisos exponentially. At first, we buy three companies. Once those are successfully transformed, we'll reinvest the money from the sale into nine new acquisitions. Once those have also become workplace pioneers, we'll transform another 27. And so on, and so on.

After all, this is a movement.

Open call for investors

We're now giving investors the opportunity to join the initiative. We're looking for a specific breed of investors: those that want to make money by doing good.

There's an opportunity to invest in Krisos itself and the opportunity to invest in future acquisitions. The minimum investment amount for Krisos is €25,000, while the minimum investment for the acquisitions is €100,000 per investor.

We're happy to explain our approach and the expected returns in more detail. If you're interested in joining our group of investors, click here and get in touch.

Realizing a new economy

We are eager to get Krisos started and further revolutionize the way companies are organized. In the meantime, I'd like to thank the awesome team at Krisos for the journey so far: Dunia Reverter, Jabi Salcedo, Xavier Costa and José Maria Dutilh. This is truly the beginning of something big.

For more information on Krisos, check out the website.

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