1990 The beginning
Yvonne Swaans (21) and Richard Westerhuis (23) start “De Kamerbalie” in 1990 in Eindhoven, a company specialized in the intermediation of shared accommodation. The business model proves to be successful and in 1991, they open a second office.
Within a short time the company has eight offices and the supply is continuously expanding.
In 1993 “De Kamerbalie” changes her name into Direct Wonen.
An appropriate name that indicates what the company stands for at that point in time. The number of offices increases in the following years. After 8 years of development Direct Wonen is represented in every major city in the Netherlands.
1995 Goed Beheer
The customers request additional services and with the start of Goed Beheer the company can offer comprehensive services to landlords next to rental intermediation, taking into account carefully the interests of both the landlord and the tenant.
1995 The start of www.directwonen.nl
Starting from the early days of the Internet, the company takes advantage of the unlimited opportunities of this medium. The interactive website www.directwonen.nl is already online since 1995. Direct Wonen is one of the first companies in the Netherlands that established a model that builds a relationship with tenants and landlords through the Internet. Besides the possibility of closing transactions by the Internet, the opportunity to collect specialized market knowledge has enabled continuous growth. Direct Wonen was Google’s first client in the Netherlands.
2004 Direct Wonen Property Sales
Due to the increasing demand of its audience for residences for sale Direct Wonen starts with the sales of housing development projects in 2004.
2004 Direct Mortgages
The launch of financial services originally took place with the brokerage of home insurances for the benefit of tenants. Due to the increasing demand from the housing development projects, the financial services were further expanded in 2004 with mortgages and related insurance products.
2005 Businesswoman of the Year
Yvonne Swaans was named businesswoman of the year in 2005.
2006 Acadium Bastion and FlexGarant Assuradeuren
Once again, a milestone is achieved with the combined acquisition of the financial advisory firms Acadium Bastion and FlexGarant Assuradeuren. Thanks to this acquisition, a highly seasoned niche player with over 30 years of experience is made available to Direct Wonen for the upper segment of mortgage brokerage, insurances and golden handshakes; combined with a quality back office.
Direct Wonen further expanded its range of financial services during the spring of 2007 with the set-up of Geldlenen.nl. This business unit is focused on consumer loans and related (accessory) insurances.
2007 IPO of Direct Wonen NV
In order to accelerate the organization’s growth, the company opted to strengthen their financial position by means of an IPO. This project was successfully finalized on May 1, 2007. The company is, from that day onwards, quoted on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) exchange of the London Stock Exchange.
2007 Geldshop.nl and Financium
In the course of 2007, the company further expands with the acquisition of Geldshop.nl and Financium, operating in the mortgage and consumer loans markets. By means of these acquisitions, the foundation is laid for Qmulus’ current investment model, where synergy possibilities between participations are reaped
2007 Just Housing
The housing division also benefits from growth by means of the acquisition of Just Housing. This well known player in the rental brokerage market focuses on the upper segment of rental housing (> 1200 euro).
At the beginning of 2008 Direct Wonen takes over Kamernet.nl, strengthening the online strategy of the group.
2008 Uw Toekomst
A further step is taken within the financial services division in May 2008 through the acquisition of Uw Toekomst, a small insurance company. Uw Toekomst is a direct writer that mainly focuses on temporary and permanent life insurances.
2008 Settle Service
The acquisition of the market leader in relocation services fits the strategy of the organization, which is aimed at reaching and serving all target groups within the residential rental market.
2008 Direct Hypotheken
Due to the market conditions within the financial services sector (credit crunch), the company opted to discontinue all of Direct Hypotheken’s operations. All activities related to the sale of mortgages were continued within Acadium Bastion.
2010 New name of the Holding Qmulus N.V.
The holding’s new name was introduced on January 15th 2010. The business activities had gotten so diverse that the name Direct Wonen N.V. evoked confusion among customers and suppliers, hence the choice for a more encompassing name. Qmulus stands for dynamism, growth and flexibility under one banner. Words that fit with the business policy. Each subsidiary continues its operations under its own name.
2010 Sale of the company Goed Beheer
2010 Delisting of the AIM exchange in London
The listing of DIWO shares on the AIM stock exchange is put to a halt on July 25th 2010. Qmulus N.V. is once again a private company.
2010 to 2013 Focus on operational excellence
Partly due to the recession and the developments within the (financial) markets, the focus of Qmulus and its subsidiaries lies on continuously achieving its results. Much attention is given to operational excellence and, in some cases, companies are reorganized. Choices are made for near- and offshoring of non-core activities. Altogether, with a positive result.
2010 and further Buy&Build within consumer finance
A considerable number of frequent (portfolio) acquisitions is made during these years. They enable the strengthening of Qmulus’ position as a market leader within consumer finance. In this manner, Qmulus gradually builds a healthy market position that enables the professionalization of the intermediary market in the years to come.
2011 Consumer finance in the Benelux
Meanwhile, entrepreneurship doesn’t come to a halt and Qmulus crosses the border. Within consumer finance, a good acquisition candidate is identified in Belgium and Luxemburg to spread our wings in this industry. Market leadership lies ahead.
2012 Sale of Uw Toekomst
In order to maintain the right focus and be able to provide the best support to a company in which is invested, a decision was made to sell this small insurance company to a specialized party that can dedicate 100% of its focus.
2013 and further the choice for an investment company
The scope of Qmulus and its activities challenges the owner entrepreneurs to think carefully about the future. The decision is taken to operate as an active investor. Qmulus can, in this manner, support other successful entrepreneurs with the purpose of jointly making profit and creating value. The transformation of Qmulus into an investment firm is now a fact
2014 Direct Wonen goes entirely online
It had previously come to attention that the traditional rental broker business is no longer a successful business model. Consequently, 2013 saw the start of a definitive transition of Direct Wonen into an online rental market place. Hereby we make use of existing knowledge; the business model of Kamernet.nl serves as an example. Directwonen.nl is launched on April 10th 2014. Nearly all of the company’s employees leave and are placed within an external national rental brokerage chain that specifically opts for a personal service model. The knowledge of the old Direct Wonen team is of high value to them.
2014 Introduction of HuurAccept
HuurAccept emerged from the extensive experience of Direct Wonen in brokerage and management of private housing. Besides a strict acceptance process, HuurAccept provides multiple services such as rent collection and a unique rent insurance. As pioneer and only company in the Netherlands, HuurAccept provides landlords with rent collection certainty.