Freshstream Acquires Majority Stake in Worldstream and Strengthens Management Team

press Monday, June 3, 2024

Private equity firm Freshstream, with offices in London and Amsterdam and a recently established €762 million investment fund, has taken a majority stake in Worldstream. Worldstream owners Dirk Vromans and Lennert Vollebregt remain with the company with a minority stake, while Worldstream’s management team has been further strengthened with CEO Ruben van der Zwan and board chairman Eric Boonstra.

Freshstream Acquires Majority Stake in Worldstream and Strengthens Management Team

Worldstream has experienced above-average growth in recent years, with strong expansion of company-owned data centers, and an advanced network backbone with significant bandwidth capacity, while having presence in both the Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. Also, as a team, we have paid great attention to the professionalism of our customer- and engineering support, resulting in an above-average customer satisfaction score, which is reflected in reviews online .

The tremendous transformation Worldstream has shown in the past 12 months, together with the strong historical growth trajectory, the continued professionalization of the management and board, and the further sharpening of our product offering, has amazed Freshstream as investors. Worldstream is a fast-growing IaaS provider, while recent developments have given Freshstream confidence that the company is ready for further customer growth and the delivery of hosted IT infrastructures in the Dutch and international IT market.

Strengthening Management Team

Worldstream serves more than 2,500 customers worldwide and employs more than 70 people. One of the world’s largest Internet Exchanges, AMS-IX , has a direct presence in Worldstream’s two data centers in Naaldwijk, which house more than 15,000 servers for customers worldwide.

With Freshstream’s majority investment, Worldstream now intends to accelerate its ambitions for organic expansion under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Ruben van der Zwan and non-executive board chairman Eric Boonstra.

“Freshstream's investment will support Worldstream's continued growth and help us expand our offerings to meet the rising demand for outsourced cloud and IT infrastructure,” said Ruben van der Zwan, newly appointed CEO of Worldstream . “I look forward to leading the company through this next phase of growth, with a shareholder who understands our ambitions and shares our entrepreneurial mentality.”

Ruben van der Zwan has a proven track record as Managing Director, Entrepreneur, CCO and CTO at several companies in the cloud and hosting world, including Sentia Group, Amsio, Argeweb, SaasNow and most recently as Managing Director at Accenture Netherlands - Cloud First Infrastructure Engineering Lead. As Worldstream’s newly appointed CEO, Van der Zwan will lead Worldstream’s accelerated growth strategies, supported by Freshstream’s majority investment. This strategic move is aimed at significantly increasing Worldstream’s impact in the data services market, both in the Netherlands and globally.

Eric Boonstra has held key management positions at several leading data center companies in recent years, including Iron Mountain, EvoSwitch and currently as CEO of a start-up data center services company, KEVLINX. Prior to joining KEVLINX, Boonstra was Vice President and General Manager of Iron Mountain Datacenters in Western Europe. Before that, he was CEO of EvoSwitch, a role in which he led the company through significant growth periods until its acquisition by Iron Mountain in 2018 for more than 205 million euros. His leadership in these roles and his extensive experience in managing and growing data center services businesses across Europe will be a welcome addition to Worldstream’s strengthened management structure.

Lennert Vollebregt and Dirk Vromans

Dirk Vromans and Lennert Vollebregt founded Worldstream in 2006 and oversaw the early stages of the company’s expansion. Having stepped down from their leadership roles at Worldstream in 2020, they will now continue to hold a minority stake in the company following the transaction.

“We are very proud of what Worldstream has become and are excited to begin this new chapter,” said Dirk Vromans and Lennert Vollebregt, co-founders of Worldstream . “The timing couldn't be better to hand over the baton to Ruben and Eric to take the company to the next level. We are excited to stay on board as investors alongside Freshstream.”

Growing Demand for Dedicated Servers and Cloud Solutions

Worldstream becomes the seventh investment in Freshstream's first independent fund, which closed last year after raising €762 million. The investor’s portfolio now includes fast-growing and entrepreneurial companies such as Project Better Energy, DeterTech, Bella Figura Music, Big Motoring World, Nafinco and MCR.

“As we look to the future, we see tremendous demand for dedicated servers and cloud solutions . With its infrastructure, expertise and strong focus on customer experience, Worldstream is well positioned to take advantage of the positive macro drivers in this sector,” said Paul Tutein Nolthenius, managing director at Freshstream . “Moreover, the entrepreneurial spirit that Dirk and Lennert instilled is still present in the workforce and will be a key pillar of Worldstream's success under Ruben’s leadership.”