I got the inspiration to write this post after reading a rather fascinating exchange on a Facebook Group page.
A group member had asked the group to enlighten him on who is the founder of Crowd1.
What followed was a long debate that ended with a rather disappointing anticlimax. You see, it seems that the majority of crowd1 members don’t have a clue about who is Crowd1’s founder…And most of them don’t care.
Nevertheless, that debate left me curious and somewhat excited (I love a good mystery). So I decided to do some cyber-sleuthing to try and find out who’s really behind Crowd1.
…It seems that I had bitten off more than I could chew!
The Usual Suspects.
In the movie, Brian Singer presents the viewer with a fictitious character named Keizer Soze, who is, in fact, one of the five main characters. The greatest thrill about watching the movie is in trying to puzzle out which one of them is Keizer Soze.
With Crowd1, you’ve got a situation where the real “Big Kahuna” (…please excuse my mixed movie metaphors,) is hiding under a thick veil of secrecy. None of the Crowd1 websites and official social media pages say much about who is the founder of Crowd1. So, the public’s only option is to speculate.
Now, to avoid getting myself into any legal drama -and in keeping with the theme of the movie – I will not express my opinion on who I think is the founder of Crowd1.
Instead, what I’ll do is give you a line-up of “the usual suspects” – people who have so much influence in Crowd1 that any one of them could be the founder:
- Renz Edgardo (AKA Mr. Renz or simply “Renz”);
- Jonas Eric Werner;
- Johan Staël von Holstein;
- Theodoulos Adamou;
- Stelios Piskopianos.
…You will have to decide which one of these gentlemen could be the founder of Crowd1.
If you’ve seen many of the Crowd1’s videos, you’ll recognize this man. He is a high-ranking member of Crowd1 with the rank of “2 Star President”.
What you may not have known is his full name because in most of the videos he appears in, he often does not introduce himself. When he does, he only calls himself Renz.
The only instance where I could find a full name associated with him is in this training video that was posted on a Facebook Page…
Now, to be honest, I should mention that I found no information that suggests Rens could be Crowd1’s founder. The only reason I included him in this line-up is because of his high ranking position inside of Crowd1.
His position in Crowd1 seems to be that of Global Operations President. He shows up mostly where Crowd1 is “opening” a new office. Other than that, he seems to be a ghost …No Facebook profile, …No Linkedin profile.
Now, to be fair to Renz, maybe he’s just one of those people who (despite his numerous online videos,) values his privacy. That could be the reason he has such a limited online footprint.
However, there’s a recent event that makes his efforts to remain anonymous seem a little bit suspicious…
The Dubai Headquarters Saga.
On 14 October 2019, Jah Ruz – a Dubai resident who goes by the name Bizfriend Jack on YouTube – posted a video in which he shares a video that was sent to him by Renz.
In the video, we see Renz at the address that you see at the bottom of the home page of the Crowd1 website:
He starts off outside the building – in the parking lot – before taking the elevator up to the 34th floor.
Outside Unit No:34, he shows the viewers a sign taped to the door that says “Crowd1″…
The bigger sign you see above the smaller sign says “MORE” because the same address is also the address of the UAE branch of MORE.
According to its website, MORE is “an accounting firm specializing in Tax Accounting, Corporate Services, and Trustee Management”.
In the video, the young man who answers Ren’s knock gives his name as only “Abbi”.
The video then shows us a brief view of the interior before Renz asks Abbie to tell the viewers what their office hours are.
Renz then gives the viewers an open invitation to visit the offices.
“Bizfriend Jack” Pays Crowd1 HQ A Visit.
After viewing the video, “Bizfriend Jack” decided to take up Renz’s invitation to visit Crowd1’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers office. However, when he got there, nobody answered the door to Unit No:3408.
…And the “Crowd1” sign was no longer there…
Now, you could say that “Jack” might have visited at the wrong time…the staff may have been on a lunch-break or something. However, the same thing happened to someone else who tried to visit the Jumeirah Lakes Towers office.
…And this time it was our friend “Jack” who almost got into trouble.
In this video, Jack talks about a threatening call he received from someone from the Dubai Department of Economy.
Apparently, someone who had tried visiting the Crowd1 offices had filed some kind of complaint with the authorities. But since there was no way to get in touch with anyone from Crowd1, they went after the closest person they could find.
You see, “Jack” had created a “Crowd1 Dubai” Facebook Fanpage to market Crowd1. He also put up his number on the page so that people who had questions could contact him.
So, when the Dubai authorities could not reach anyone from Crowd1, they reached out to the creator of Crowd1 Dubai to inform them about the complaint.
You can get the full story from Bizfriend Jack in the video below…
Now, as I said before, none of the Crowd1 websites say anything about the people behind the business. But after looking at Jonas Eric Werner’s past activities, it’s it is highly probable that he could be Crowd1’s founder.
Synkronice and Spinglo…Crowd1 1.0?
Jonas used to be with Synkronice. If this video in which we see him introducing the then CEO of Synkronise and Spinglo is anything to go by, he certainly played a major role in Synkronice.
When you look at the Synkronice business model, you’ll find that it was almost a replica of Crowd1. Just take a look at this screenshot of a post on Synkronice’s FB page:
How ’bout this one:
Pointing out the many similarities between Sinkronice and Crowd1 will make this post much longer than it should – and it’s already too long.
What you should be aware of, is that Synkronice only operated for three years before the whole scheme fell apart. The last time the Synkronice and Spinglo websites were live was in April 2013. (If you’re interested in what the Synkronice official website looked like, you can see it at http://web.archive.org).
It is not clear exactly when Synkronice went bust, but judging from the last post on their Facebook page, it seems like 2012 was the last year they were in business.
In January 2013, there were these kinds of complaints from people who had invested in the scheme…
Note the mention of Jonas in the first complaint as well as this article about the arrest mentioned in the same complaint.
On 26 September 2019, a Crowd1 member published this post on the MLM Gateway website. In it, he wrote:
“…Watch this space because Johan Stael von Holstein is our new CEO!”
According to Wikipedia, Lars Johan Magnus Staël von Holstein is a Swedish entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author who co-founded dot-com companies such as Icon Medialab and LetsBuyIt during the early “dot-com” boom in Sweden.
His online footprint seems to be quite substantial, and he is somewhat of an entrepreneur celebrity.
I came across many articles online that had nothing but praises for Von Holstein.
A deeper look into his past business activities produced some information that is a bit …worrying.
Maskot for hire?
It seems that Von Holstein was also involved in the Synkronice/Spinglo scheme.
I discovered this video in which he was introduced as Chief Visionary Officer of Spinglo.
Before I saw this video, I had never heard of a CVO title…So I looked it up.
According to Wikipedia, “A chief visionary officer or chief vision officer (CVO) is an executive function in a company like CEO or COO. The title is sometimes used to formalize a high-level advisory position and other times used to define a higher ranking position than that held by the CEO”.
So, his position at Spinglo was higher than that of the CEO…
This means that he was responsible for a lot of important business decisions there. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was the “founder” of the company. He only got involved with Spinglo right at the end. I could not find any mention of Von Holstein’s involvement with Spinglo or Synkronice before May 2012 – a few months before it shut down.
The same can be said of his involvement with Crowd1…
The earliest mention I could find of Von Holstein in association with Crowd1 is in this video in which he is being introduced as Crowd1’s CEO. (Note that the person introducing Von Holstein as “colleague and friend for …like …fifteen years”, is none other than our friend Jonas Eric Werner)…
So, where was Von Holstein all this time?
Was he only brought in to bring some credibility to Crowd1?
…It certainly seems so.
According to this Company Profile on Hoovers.com, Theodoulos Adamou is the Secretary of CROWD 1 NETWORK EUROPE LTD.
However, you will not find his name mentioned anywhere else.
According to his website, “Theodoulos Adamou is a lawyer based in Limassol Cyprus. His fields of expertise cover both litigation and corporate services.”
At first glance, it might look like Adamou’s role in Crowd1 is a minor one. However, it is important to note that he’s one of only two people who appear on Crowd1 Network Europe’s company profile.
If you did a Crowd1 company profile lookup now on opencorporates.com, you’d find that Mr. Adamou no longer holds the title of secretary in Crowd1 Network Europe. The person holding that title now is a Mr. Piskopianos Stelios, who now occupies both the Director’s seat as well as the Secretary seat…
According to a recent update on the opencorporates.com, website, Stelios Piskopianos is both Director and Secretary of Crowd1 Network Europe…
And if you ran a Whois inquiry on the Crowd1.com website, you’ll find that Stelios is listed as the owner of the website.
…as well as MyGritHub, …
Is Stelios Piskopianos The Founder Of Crowd1?
Stelios has a Linkedin profile that links him to various companies. But the most interesting ones are AOS Fluency Ltd and Northfield International Limited…Interesting because they’re the only two where he had a Director’s title.
A search for AOS Fluency reveals that Stelios was the company’s Director and that he founded the company in Dec 2007. However, the company went into liquidation in January 2016.
The link to AOS Fluency’s website from Stelios’ Linkedin page will lead you nowhere as the website no longer exists. However, there’s an archive of the old website that you can view here.
The website lists him as Finance Director…
In the other company – Northfield International Ltd – Stelios is listed as both Director and Secretary.
There are many other companies with the name “Northfield International”. So, I,m not sure if Stelios’ Northfield had a web address.
What’s strange is that there is ZERO mention of his involvement in Crowd1.
So, if Stelios is Crowd1’s Director, why is his involvement with Crowd1 not public?
So, who’s the real founder of Crowd1?
If you were reading this post with the hope of finding an answer to this question, I’m sorry to have to disappoint you.
The truth is…I also don’t know.
You see, after going into every “rabbit-hole” I could find online, I still can’t tell you – beyond any reasonable doubt – who the founder of Crowd1 is.
…I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
I’ll also leave you with this quote from Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) from the movie:
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”