Florijnz congratulates Stefanie Verrijp, founder of Kivido B.V., and KindeRdam on the new partnership. After operating independently for 15 years, Kivido will continue as part of KindeRdam. However, Kivido will continue to exist as Kivido. The quality of Kivido are the people and the partners, now only with a large organization as backup in terms of knowledge and expertise. We look back on a beautiful project in which we were once again able to cash in on the passion of an entrepreneur.
How did Kivido get started?
In 2007, I acquired the shares from a foundation. They needed money and therefore wanted to sell Kivido. Through the accountant at the time, I was introduced to the idea of buying the shares myself. Obtaining financing through the bank was then still a piece of cake. At that moment I was in the mood for a new challenge and I thought, why not? The name Kivido came about on a Friday afternoon during a fun discussion with some colleagues. For the logo, we organized a contest at the BSO. These were great times.
Why did the sale of Kivido come up?
I have been the owner of Kivido for 15 years. During this time I was able to build a fantastic organization with top-notch people. I was able to put everything into it for many years and it was often my lifeline to personal drama. It was my therapy and it worked well both ways. Yet at some point there came a tipping point.
The growth of Kivido, despite many crises, has been so prosperous that it reached a point where it became too big for me. Over the years, Kivido has grown to about 120 employees and with that it became too big for my skills. Moreover, I noticed in myself that I was ready for other challenges. The fire was out and I could only see bears on the road. That was the moment I realized I had to make a decision. In the end, I decided to sell Kivido.
In the end, what was the deciding factor in entering the sales process?
At the end of 2021, I finally tied the knot. I noticed to myself that I no longer enjoyed going to the office and was dragging myself through the days. When you reach that point, you are no longer a good leader.
How did you end up at Florijnz?
Years ago, I was approached by Hans Minnaar about a purchase project for a client of his. At that time, however, I was not ready for a possible sale. It did click well with Hans and since then we have kept in touch occasionally about how things were going. That was very pleasant for me. So once I got to the point where I wanted to sell, I quickly knew that I wanted to use Florijnz as a partner.
How did the sales process go?
Fine, I had a top team at Florijnz, Marieke and Romy, it became a woman's thing. Very nice. They were difficult months though, I lived a bit in a parallel world. I had chosen not to inform anyone besides my own family about it, because of course you never know how such a trajectory goes. This meant business as usual, while on the other hand I also knew that in a while I would no longer be there.
How did you experience working with Florijnz?
Very pleasant, approachable, quick and respectful to each other. They also made me think about things and came up with ideas and proposals to tackle certain things. Never was anything too much and they knew the game. In the end, that led to a great deal. There was also regular laughter; I always like a little humor and putting things into perspective, and that was just fine.
With today's knowledge, would you have handled things differently?
With today's knowledge, I would have been less emotional about it. No one is replaceable and people are opportunistic, whereas on the back end I wanted to get everything right for everyone. With today's knowledge, I would have been a little less tight-lipped about that.
What ambition do you have now after the transaction?
I am going to study philosophy, in addition I will continue to advocate for good child care through other avenues. Other than that, I'll see what comes my way. I have noticed that detaching from Kivido takes time. Meanwhile this is going better and better and I am enjoying more and more the carefree feeling of not having any responsibilities anymore.