Amsterdam, 23 July 2018 — Gregory van der Wiel has sold his stake in BALR. & 433 to the other shareholders. He gained a stake in the brand, which was co-founded by his friend and former international football player Demy de Zeeuw, in 2013. By selling his shares now, Van der Wiel will realise an outstanding return of 2000% on his investment. The capital that will be released will be placed partially in his investment fund Block Party and be partially used to finance new companies in North America.
This business success is not a coincidence. In addition to his football career at Toronto FC, Van der Wiel is increasingly positioning himself as an entrepreneur and investor. Last year he was involved in the establishment of Block Party together with business partner Funs Jacobs and in collaboration with Dave Dirks. Block Party is an investment fund that now has well-known startups such as Hardt Hyperloop, Voicey and Unless in its portfolio.
BALR. & 433
Gregory van der Wiel: ‘Demy and I discovered that we share the same vision on the development of the internet and how you can respond to this as a brand and social media community. So I think it is great that I have been able to contribute to the success of BALR. & 433 through my investment. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the growth of both companies for a fantastic period and wish each of them all the success in the world.’
BALR. was founded by Demy de Zeeuw, Juul Manders and Ralph de Geus in 2013. Gregory van der Wiel and Eljero Elia joined the company as investor during the first phase of its development and this contributed to the accelerated growth of both companies. This collaboration has proved to be an international success over the past five years. BALR. currently realises annual revenue of more than 10 million euros.
Van der Wiel is increasingly focussing on tech startups through Block Party. Van der Wiel: ‘We want to expand through Block Party and in this way be more than an investment fund. Our aim is to be a platform that inspires and helps people and brings them into contact with like-minded people and industries. We focus on individuals who are rebels and free spirits. We like to help these individuals by inspiring them through events such as talks and smaller sessions. In addition, we support them by providing content and connecting them with other people who can help them move forward. We want to create value for more startups and will also continue to invest financial resources in a few startups.’ Van der Wiel is further expanding his business activities in North America. He explains: ‘We are setting up a new company in Toronto that will focus on building personal brands. In addition, we are actively working on further building my own personal brand. For example, we successfully launched my website gregoryvanderwiel.com recently. Our aim is to now do the same for other athletes. We take on the role of creative director within the team of an athlete or another appealing personal brand.’
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