Herculean, the cooperative holding behind Hercules Trophy, Hercules Academy and Hercules Projects, has completed the first phase of their capital increase and appoints a new chairman. Founder Yves Vekemans remains CEO. The company is still 100% Belgian, while improving corporate governance and strengthening the financial basis, in order to accelerate the international roll-out of the Hercules Trophy format through the IT platform.
Early 2017, Herculean announced the start of a new capital round. One of the possibilities was Equity Crowdfunding. This campaign resulted in an increase of +600,000 euro in a few months’ time. 10% was represented by 120 smaller investors. The other funds came from co-investors, with i.a. Barbara Torfs (from the Belgian retailer Schoenen Torfs). Barbara has also entered the Board of Directors and is currently preparing for her new role as Managing Director Herculean Belgium. The Founders will focus on the international roll-out. Herculean also opted for an investment credit, supported by the Guarantee Fund.
The next step now is to get new investors on board for a capital between 500,000 and 1 million euro, in order to accelerate the international growth. Technology (through the unique IT platform) plays an important role in this growth strategy.
The Herculean Founders Yves Vekemans and release the presidency to Roger Malevé, CTO/CIO at the Belgian National Lotery and President of the Cooperative Captains of Cycling, owned by Lotto Soudal.
Yves Vekemans: “Roger Malevé is the perfect person to lead our Board of Directors, because of his feeling with cooperatives as a legal identity, his experience in sports and his years of experience in the financial; technological and business world. He will also become a member of our Board of Advice.”
Roger Malevé: “I have been following the adventures of Yves and Inge for a long time and I have participated in one of the first Hercules Trophies. The professionalization in less than 5 years’s time is remarkable. When they asked me to become the Chairman, I haven’t hesitated for a second. I see the big potential in this authentic story where passionate entrepreneurs and a strong team internationalize a unique platform with the support of powerful shareholders. The cooperative, a lady from the inter-bellum that has reinvented itself, is the most suitable corporate entity for this. It’s the perfect way to continue the spirit from the Hercules Trophy to its fans and shareholders.”
Inge Van Belle: “I have had the chance to meet Roger in the beginning of my professional career and I have always considered him as one of my most important mentors. Now, 15 years later, our paths are crossing again. A great honor for me personally to collaborate with a former colleague with so much business experience.”
Herculean has been one of the first Belgian scale-ups to start an equity crowdfunding project with the platform MyMicroInvest. The business owners have become pioneers in this field and are always open to share their experience with other owners who consider equity crowdfunding.
About Roger Malevé
Roger Malevé has a combined experience in governmental and semi-governmental institutions, as well as in quoted private companies. Roger has also built this experience in different industries and environments. Equity finance, industry, and last but not least, ICT services, are the main domains in which Roger has gained notoriety.
Roger is also Chairman of the Lotto-Soudal WT cycling team since 2011. Apart from sponsor recruitment (i.a. Soudal), he has also created the cooperative Captains of Cycling, for whom he has set up a successful crowdfunding campaign.