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“The Lion’s Den”: Shitstorm for the founding duo



This pitch backfired.

On Monday evening, the founding duo Annika Krause (29) and Thorben Stieler (29) wanted to bring their herbal elixir “kruut” to investors in “Die Höhle der Löwen” (Vox). But instead of bagging a deal, they got a shitstorm …

Because they wanted to escape their stressful everyday life, the founding duo looked for a break in nature and dealt with the healing power of wild herbs.

Nils Glagau (left) and Ralf Dümmel were definitely interested in a deal

Photo: Bernd-Michael Maurer/RTL

They experimented with recipes in their own kitchen, became self-employed in 2018 and have now built up a real company. With “kruut” the two are online, but also represented in large organic chains throughout Germany. Her pitch in the lion’s den should give her superfood the final boost.


Stieler in front of the lions: “Our mission is to bring wild herbs into everyday life and we need your support for that.” They demanded 400,000 euros for ten percent of their company.

The founders remained tough when negotiating

The founders remained tough when negotiating

Photo: Bernd-Michael Maurer/RTL

But the initial enthusiasm of the lions quickly evaporated. Because the founding duo was not willing to negotiate.

Although Dagmar Wöhrl (69) and an investor duo from Nils Glagau (47) and Ralf Dümmel (56) made an offer of 20 percent and 24 percent, Krause and Stieler absolutely did not want to negotiate, insisted on their ten percent – ​​and left them Deals with it burst. And that, although Wöhrl even went down to 15 percent!

The reason given by founder Annika Krause: “We simply cannot give more than this ten percent for this drive that we have and that we want to put into it.” With that, all lions were out – no deal for “kruut”!

Founder duo put off the lions – and reap Shitstorm!

Investor Carsten Maschmeyer (64) speculated: “There are only two options: they will regret it, or they just wanted the advertising!”

The users on Instagram saw it similarly. Because the company’s Instagram site has been piling up a ton of angry posts:


“Ridiculous, unsympathetic performance on Lion’s Den. That was not good publicity for you, it was bad publicity as everyone knows what your intention was to be there.”

► “I would have bought the product, but with so much arrogance and greed … no thanks.”

► “Phew, just a little shocked … I think you went to DHDL just to advertise and go out without a deal … Unfortunately, too much high-flying and arrogance for my taste. I thought the product was great, but the appearance shocked me, unfortunately I won’t order it…”

►”Only for advertising. Products directly ten euros more expensive. Weak.”

“The appearance leaves a negative impression. Promotional event with very little motivation to actually get a lion to invest.

Maschmeyer makes a job offer for the founder

Founder Meltem Aktürk wrapped the lions around her finger

Founder Meltem Aktürk wrapped the lions around her finger

Photo: Bernd-Michael Maurer/RTL

At her business acumen, the lions flowed!


On Monday evening, Meltem Aktürk (29) presented a mattress specially designed for baby needs for the season finale of the investment show “Die Höhle der Löwen” (Vox). However, the founder herself was even more enthusiastic than her mattress!

Because her pitch turned into a job interview! Because investor and lion veteran Carsten Maschmeyer was so enthusiastic about Aktürk’s self-confident manner, he made the former financial advisor a job offer directly on the show – if the deal didn’t work out.

Aktürk introduced the lions to a mattress for babies

Aktürk introduced the lions to a mattress for babies

Photo: Bernd-Michael Maurer/RTL

Aktürk very consciously chose the path to self-employment. The founder: “In my job, I also advised start-ups when they had financing projects. But I always felt like I was kind of on the wrong side.”

Instead of just dreaming about it, Aktürk launched her own start-up “Sproutling” and developed an innovative mattress especially for babies. Aktürk: “Conventional mattresses often consist of a foam core wrapped in a thick fabric cover that doesn’t breathe.”

The fear of many parents: Babies could turn from their backs to their stomachs while sleeping and could no longer breathe through the firm mattress fabric.

Not only Carsten Maschmeyer was enthusiastic about the young founder

Not only Carsten Maschmeyer was enthusiastic about the young founder

Photo: RTL / Bernd-Michael Maurer


If Aktürk has his way, “Sproutling” will put an end to this – because the baby mattress is completely air-permeable.

She asked 100,000 euros for 12.5 percent of her company – an offer that few lions liked. Even if everyone raved about Aktürk, nobody wanted to hit the deal. Does Meltem have to be on the mat at Maschmeyer in the morning?

Not really! Because Ralf Dümmel (56) gave himself a jerk. But instead of making a counter offer, Dümmel turned the tables: “Tell me where your pain threshold is.”

Pain limit deal instead of a Maschmeyer job?

After a short telephone call for advice, Aktürk offered: “Because we don’t negotiate, I don’t just raise it a bit, but in such a way that we don’t have to negotiate.”

Your new offer: a whole 30 percent! THIS even surprised her Dümmel. But instead of simply striking, he held up a piece of paper on which he had written down his desired percentage: 25! The investor super fair: “I will not take the 30 percent. I wanted the deal, I wanted the 25 percent.”

A fair gesture in the lion’s enclosure – a great start to working together. BILD knows that the deal between the lion and the founder came about after the show.


Source: Asia Times

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