Five companies, five times hope. But not every start-up leaves the “Lion’s Den” happy and satisfied. Investor Nils Glagau in particular didn’t mince his words this time.
Things get off to a healthy start in the latest episode “The Lion’s Den”. With Frinsh, the young founder, currently a teacher, wants to bring frozen ginger cubes to the people – because they are just as healthy as tea made from the root, but mixed more quickly. For 75,000 euros you get 20 percent of the shares in his company.
The star tested the product in advance, you can find the text here.
After Tijen Onaran has overcome a “luxurious sweat” – because yes, ginger is very spicy – the negotiations begin. This is followed by another sweat among investors: 25 euros for 25 ginger cubes – so not a product for the frugal masses. This is reflected in the numbers: the founder has not yet been able to sell more than 200 cans.
Four lions out, one comes back
Unsurprisingly, this is too small for Maschmeyer – he logs off. Nils Glagau is more direct: “Keep your job as a teacher and let it be.” He’s out too. Onaran agrees with this because she sees no possibility of scaling the product in a timely manner. “No chance,” says Tillman Schulz. It remains Dümmel, who appreciates the product, but has to admit that he “can’t do frozen food.” Hope is fading.
Then comes the possible Frinsh comeback: Dümmel and Schulz put their heads together and make an offer: 75,000 euros for 40 percent – almost half the company. The founder strikes – a deal at the last second.
In the second deal it remains healthy, but more in a sporting sense. With Urban Challenger, two founders are presenting an app that is intended to make it easier to discover cities. To do this, the software sets various tasks on site that are intended to help you get to know new places in a more targeted manner as a team, couple or solo traveler, for example through visits to restaurants or photo competitions. Entry for investors: 60,000 euros for 15 percent of the shares.
Preparation in the “Lion’s Den” is the be-all and end-all
The problem: Urban Challenger hasn’t really done much so far – and needs a lot of help getting started. At the same time, the app wants to make “definitely six figures” this year, as one of the founders says. Glagau responded: “That doesn’t sound like a clear plan,” to which Schulz added: “No, zero.”
Maschmeyer is direct: “I don’t consider you to be professionals. And that’s why I’m out.” A harsh judgment that Dagmar Wöhrl follows. “You don’t know your numbers,” she sums up. No deal.
Glagau likes the idea, but not the mindset of the founders. He logs out. Schulz made a similar judgment; he also did not find himself in the young company. Then the twist: Although four lions wouldn’t touch the start-up with pliers, Ensthaler wants to give it a try. 60,000 euros for 25 percent are in the room, the founders agree without much consultation. Deal.
Then it gets intimate. A young founder wants to use her company ruby to help find ways and means out of sexual aversion among men and women, whatever the cause may be. Teas and capsules that support the natural hormone balance are supposed to help. The sexy time wouldn’t be cheap for the lions – 15 percent of ruby should cost 250,000 euros. Does anyone fall in love there?
“The Lion’s Den”
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The pitch puts the Lions to the test. “How is your virility,” the founder wants to know. You can ask potential investors that. “Fantastic,” replies Glagau. The group laughs. But the topic is serious: a lot of people suffer from the lull in bed, they say. “I’ve heard that before,” says Onaran – but that doesn’t apply to her. For men there is the blue pill, you know. But for women?
The tasting then degenerates into a fourth-grade sex education lesson – because of course the lionesses and lions are now a little afraid of attacking each other after enjoying the hot drink. At least that doesn’t happen in front of the camera, because Onaran has to realize that her desire has hardly changed. Everyone else agrees, but takes another big sip.
No willingness to take the pill
The numbers are at least as unsexy as the lions’ mood: capsules for two months cost 120 euros, the tea for 40 cups costs 25 euros. Last year sales were 85,000 euros. The founder names a whole range of well-known sales outlets, but Maschmeyer states: “Sales are not yet particularly high for that.”
Ralf Dümmel admires the founder, but drops out straight away. Schulz’s desire is also limited and he refuses. Glagau lacks studies, he doesn’t want to. Maschmeyer announces good and bad news. Although he likes the founder and the topic, he doesn’t like the many promises. No vitamin M for ruby. Onaran also gets out. No deal.
A possible million dollar deal follows. Sturfer wants 1.2 million euros for ten percent of the shares. You can buy an ergonomic office chair that can be transformed into a training device in just a few steps and is intended to make everyday life more sporty. The background is medical. According to one of the founders, who works as an orthopedic surgeon, too many people have back pain. For him, daily stretching exercises are the only true remedy.
During the demonstration, one of the founders bends in a strange way. Although he speaks of “playing light” with every movement, he visibly has to work hard to show himself as a striker. Then it’s the lions’ turn and Dagmar Wöhrl is twisted into the office chair.
Ralf Dümmel is bullied
Ralf Dümmel, as the heaviest and probably most immobile big cat, gets the full blow. Schulz in particular makes fun of the entrepreneur’s weight, and Wöhrl announces that he wants to call the ambulance. Bullying among millionaires.
Contrary to expectations, Dümmel survives the stormer and wants to know more. In the broadcast, the founders say that the price is 6990 euros – they are silent. Online it still looks painful, but not quite as dramatic: around 5,000 euros are currently due. But it’s apparently happening: In the first month, sales were already 184,000 euros. In the meantime, the investment is apparently too high: Ensthaler, who “would have wanted to,” is leaving immediately.
The other lions are impressed that the founders have already invested two million euros. So the Sturfer has substance. Dümmel has great respect for this, but doesn’t see himself in the B2B market – he’s opting out. Schulz is also out for the same reasons.
Wöhrl likes the Sturfer, but is afraid of the many explanations the product requires and the high price. She logs out. Glagau still doesn’t believe that enough companies spend so much money on chairs for their employees. So he’s out, no deal.
Finally, Nuni promises happy nights for breastfeeding mothers. The start-up sells self-adhesive silicone pads for the breast to which nursing pads can be attached. An alternative to “uncomfortable nursing bras,” as the founder says. 15 percent of the idea should cost 90,000 euros.
Nils Glagau experiences firsthand the fact that nursing bras can be uncomfortable. “I think that’s annoying,” he sums up. Wöhrl laughs.
The price of the set is 29.95 euros, says the founder. On the homepage it is 39 euros – strange. Sales of 2,000 euros were made in three months. That doesn’t quite add up for Ensthaler – she logs off.
For Wöhrl, the necessary explanation fails – again. She logs out. Too complicated. Dümmel and Schulz see it similarly – they don’t want to either. It remains Glagau that bites. He would pay 90,000 euros for 25 percent. Deal.