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The meaning of numbers for business models and investor negotiations.

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Noac: How full can a cap table be? #DHDL

Wednesday, 15.05.2024

It's not just something you've heard many times on "Die Höhle der Löwen", but all other founders who have ever been looking for investors are probably familiar with the critical questions about the cap table. How many parties hold shares in the company, how many investors are there, how many founders? Investment talks can also fail if the structure is unfortunate. The start-up around the innovative surgical robotics "Noac" also had to realise that they are probably not so favourably positioned here.

Bionic: The difficult decision of the licence business #DHDL

Friday, 10.05.2024

In many cases, it seems clear what the best business model should look like. The product type, market, target group or the interplay of such factors often dictate at least the cornerstones from the outset. Sometimes, however, there are several options, and a decision in favour of a particular business model has a lot to do with your own values and ideas, but also with your ambitions. Just how difficult such a decision can be is demonstrated by the start-up C-bionic in "Die Höhle der Löwen".

Gelato Pack: the importance of early numbers #DHDL

Friday, 03.05.2024

It is by no means only in "Die Höhle der Löwen", but also outside of it, that the vast majority of start-ups find it difficult to get a major investment before they enter the market. Andreas, founder of the innovative ice cream packaging Gelato Pack, also had to learn that investors want figures, even if they are still so early. But is it really just about turnover or something completely different?

Nutriomix: Have they done the maths without the (end) customers? #DHDL

Wednesday, 24.04.2024

A complete investor pitch always includes a market slide. In "Die Höhle der Löwen", however, the market section is not part of the pitch, but has to be asked by the lions afterwards. In the case of Nutriomix, viewers were given a pretty good insight into an exciting industry. Food retail in a nutshell, so to speak.

Pee & Bob: When founder and investor are fans of each other #DHDL

Thursday, 18.04.2024

Right after the pitch, praises showered down as Pee & Bob's founder, Anna Wirsching, delivered her presentation with such joy and zeal that all five 'Lions' themselves were beaming competitively. She captivates without artificial storytelling, excites without painting exaggerated visions.

Casablanca: Of hypes and warning signs #DHDL

Friday, 12.04.2024

There are always hypes in the start-up scene - trend topics in which almost all large and numerous smaller investors want to invest. The eScooter is probably one of them, as are online supermarkets and now artificial intelligence. Sometimes they are justified, sometimes not. But such hypes always play a special role in the fabric of the scene, which can also lead to completely different effects. As in the case of Casablanca in the first episode of the new season of "Die Höhle der Löwen".

Molly Suh and the dreaded corporate argument #DHDL

Friday, 15.12.2023

Almost everyone who has ever been to a pitch event where there was also a kind of jury knows the question: what would the small start-up do if a corporate giant decided to copy their product? But is there a clever answer?

Zeedz: Why games are all about numbers #DHDL

Thursday, 19.10.2023

The current season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" came to a brilliant conclusion with a mega deal for "Zeedz". And this despite the fact that investments in a game are considered quite difficult and many investors rule them out completely. What is so special here that everything seems to be different?

BIOTherma-Pad: Is there a “wrong phase” for finding investors? #DHDL

Thursday, 12.10.2023

Founder Friederike Freifrau von Rodde ventured before the lions with her BIOTherma-Pad. However, she had to admit that the product was not yet ready. How can you still convince investors, even if you're a bit early?

TheBlood: Economies of scale or high scalability? #DHDL

Wednesday, 27.09.2023

Women's health is a huge market that is only just being de-tabooed and tapped. The start-up TheBlood, which appeared on "Die Höhle der Löwen", has also set out to push this further. But is their model really as "highly scalable" as they claim?

Urban Challenger: Why many investors like repeat founders #DHDL

Wednesday, 20.09.2023

For most early-stage founders, it is super impressive when they hear that someone has sold their startup for a large sum. But is someone like that still suitably motivated for their next start-up? The opinions of the TV lions are not the only ones that differ.

natch: When can you base a rating on a forecast? #DHDL

Wednesday, 13.09.2023

In the third episode of the current season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" there was once again plenty of criticism of a rating. But the founders had actually come up with a derivation. Why was this not convincing?

FreeMOM: Haggling over shares steals the stage from the groundbreaking concept #DHDL

Tuesday, 05.09.2023

The second episode of the 14th season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" also had a lot to offer. For example, FreeMOM was presented as a concept that not only questions fundamental structures in the labour market, but could also change them permanently. But the disruptive character of the model is unfortunately completely lost.

Mitmalfilm and the cryptic refusals of the lions #DHDL

Wednesday, 30.08.2023

Sometimes what a start-up does is just beautiful. The new season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" has just such a theme again with the young company "Mitmalfilm", because here children can have their own drawing become the background of a cartoon film. Unfortunately, however, the figures do not seem to be convincing in certain respects. But what exactly is behind the sometimes somewhat cryptic cancellations by the lions?

eSelly: When not to think directly about earning money #DHDL

Friday, 12.05.2023

In "Die Höhle der Löwen", the questions about turnover and earnings of the young companies are among the most important. Often not included in the finished version, but just as important are the numerical questions aimed at determining when the start-up in question might be able to earn money. But sometimes everything is different. The example of eSelly was a good illustration of the requirements that have to be met by investors for such a special case.

Brilamo: Hero of the day with unagitated competence instead of visionary poseurism #DHDL

Wednesday, 26.04.2023

You know them well - the overconfident, visionary, sometimes slightly hyperactive founders who talk about great plans, have optimised their storytelling down to the last detail - but then also demand very self-confident assessments from investors. But on this Monday, Linda from Brilamo showed us that you can also make investors rave in a completely different way - and was overwhelmed with superlatives. Is this the new type of founder that can become a role model?

Tinus: Milestones also exist for investors #DHDL

Wednesday, 19.04.2023

Many founders are very familiar with so-called milestones in an investment. But almost all of them associate them with the fact that their start-up has to achieve certain goals in order to continue receiving money from investors. But it also works the other way around. In the latest episode of "Die Höhle der Löwen", you can see very well how something like this can work, using the example of the start-up Tinus from Munich.

NewMa: A previously ignored market #DHDL

Thursday, 13.04.2023

Many new markets arose because someone noticed a problem and wanted to solve it. Such a market grew particularly quickly if the problem was not insignificant - i.e. caused a certain amount of suffering - and was relevant to as large a number of people as possible. The pain and problems that most women experience after childbirth actually fit right in, yet they have been offered solutions that don't really deserve the name. How could it be that such a large and willing-to-pay market has simply been ignored until now?

Papydo: Why the elbow-less form of negotiation makes more sense for start-ups (and investors)#DHDL

Wednesday, 14.12.2022

On both the startup and investor side, there is still a strong attitude that negotiations have to be tough. Many founders in particular believe that going in with a slightly higher valuation and then wrestling for every percentage point is simply part of the game. Investors, on the other hand, sometimes seem to see it as one of their core tasks to negotiate founders down a bit more in any case. But is this time-honoured, very patriarchal way of negotiating really the right one in this setup? In the Christmas episode of "Die Höhle der Löwen", the founders of Papydo show how things can be done differently. Why this could and should set a precedent.

Standsome: Product before numbers doesn’t pay off #DHDL

Thursday, 20.10.2022

You can make many mistakes when pitching and talking to investors. But some are made much more often than others. In the final episode of the 12th season of "Die Höhle der Löwen", one of the most common could be observed.

Taste like: The taste is convincing, but the logistics are not #DHDL

Wednesday, 12.10.2022

Start-ups always have to deal with issues that do not exist for established companies. Especially in the food sector, there can be challenges that make it very difficult to "just find" a producer to produce the products that have already been very successful at trade fairs or food events in sufficiently large quantities for the retail trade. In the 7th episode of the 12th season of "Die Höhle der Löwen", some of these issues came up in the case of "Taste like". Exciting for the viewers, but especially for all founders who have similar plans.

ichó: An emotional topic, but difficult numbers #DHDL

Friday, 07.10.2022

A prominent advocate and investor, a highly emotional and important topic that moved several lions to tears at once, and promising initial results: ichó's training system, which is supposed to help dementia patients at least delay the disease, really left no one cold during its appearance on "Die Höhle der Löwen". In the end, however, there wasn't even an offer, let alone a deal. What didn't fit?

CleverCakes: With numbers to success #DHDL

Wednesday, 28.09.2022

No area of founders' knowledge and skills seems as neglected as numbers. And although investors - not only on "Die Höhle der Löwen" - never tire of stressing how important it is to know and communicate the most important figures of one's business, start-up events and trainings prefer to emphasise storytelling. In the 5th episode of the 12th season, however, founder Elina flashed the lions all along the line, but above all with her numbers. And thus shows how it's done right.

Hyrise Academy: When Startups fill the education gap #DHDL

Thursday, 22.09.2022

Our school and vocational training system unfortunately very often misses the actual need. In the meantime, there is a glaring shortage of skilled workers in many areas on the one hand, but no quick and high-quality education or training opportunities for those interested. This is the case with software salespeople. Dominik and Michael from Hyrise are remedying this situation. And obviously highly successfully.

Next Folder: German bureaucracy vs. young founders? #DHDL

Thursday, 15.09.2022

In the latest episode of "Die Höhle der Löwen", viewers once again got to see something that is no longer all that rare in the start-up show - as it is in the start-up world in general: very young founders. Johannes and Valentin had also started their start-up idea before they were legally of age. But since that is not possible in Germany, their grandmother had to found the company for them. You can think that's sweet, but actually it's just sad.

Nippli: Customer problems don’t have to be politically correct #DHDL

Thursday, 08.09.2022

No sooner was the participation of the founder of Nippli in "Die Höhle der Löwen" announced and her product idea made public than there was the first gloating and the first small uproar on the net. Why should women necessarily make their nipples invisible? But she doesn't say that at all, has not only women as her target group anyway and her sales figures clearly speak the language of market acceptance. A plea for less idea-focusedness.

Pagopace: The power of use cases #DHDL

Thursday, 08.09.2022

The founders of the payment ring start-up Pagopace experienced a real rollercoaster ride in "Die Höhle der Löwen". From total enthusiasm to great scepticism to tough negotiation. But in the end they succeeded, at least some of the investors' euphoria lasted until the end. How do you do it?

Iss doch wurscht: A Corona nightmare with a happy ending #DHDL

Tuesday, 19.10.2021

A case that revealed the abysses of the Corona measures. An entrepreneur who had the rug pulled out from under him. But despite all official promises, the state and the banks left him completely alone. But who simply did not want to give up. And finally turned everything around once again.

Fun with Balls/Lymb.io: The Corona Crisis Factor in Valuation #DHDL

Wednesday, 06.10.2021

The anti-Corona measures have also often hit start-ups especially hard. Those that were able to survive the months-long closures of entire sectors by adapting quickly then often needed the next round of financing sooner than planned. But most of them are worse off at that point. So how does one deal with such a collapse in turnover through no fault of one's own when it comes to valuation?

STUR: The role of crowdfunding in the rating process #DHDL

Wednesday, 29.09.2021

The 4th episode of the anniversary season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" was not only special in terms of the guest lions and former candidates from Ankerkraut. The founders also had a lot to offer. For example, the pan developers from STUR came up with considerable order quantities from crowdfunding. But they failed in the evaluation discussion, because the lions did not want to equate the crowdfunding income with normal turnover. Reason enough to ask why investors think this way and what crowdfunding is actually worth when it comes to valuation.

independesk: Right reasoning despite strange advice #DHDL

Tuesday, 21.09.2021

In the case of the workplace-sharing platform "independesk", one could witness one of the strangest phone calls ever made in "Die Höhle der Löwen". Nevertheless, it ended well for the founder, because he finally brought the argument that made the most sense in his situation.

KOHPA: When even the biggest storm doesn’t endanger the calm #DHDL

Tuesday, 14.09.2021

In the 2nd episode of the anniversary season of "Die Höhle der Löwen" (The Lion's Den) one can observe extremely opposing opinions of the investors: While one strongly doubts the harmfulness of electro-magnetic radiation and thus the sense of one of two presented products, for the other it is almost too good to be true. But how can one behave in such a situation when the core of one's own product is the center of the discussion? The KOHPA founders successfully demonstrate this.

Classplash: Too much future in the valuation #DHDL

Thursday, 09.09.2021

Early-stage startups in particular need to base their valuation to a large extent on future prospects. That is why financial planning is so important. This is where the investor sees where the figures come from and tries to assess how realistic it all is. This is where the opinions between the startup and the investor often diverge. In the case of Classplash, DHDL viewers also had the opportunity to experience such a discussion.

Munevo: When investors want to invest but cannot #DHDL

Monday, 28.06.2021

The Munich-based founders of Munevo achieved what many candidates dream of when they go on “Die Höhle der Löwen”: they astonished the lions, caused goose bumps and repeatedly received the respect of the experienced investors. But in the end it wasn't enough for a deal. What was the reason?

Zaunkönig: A new player in a “crazy market“ #DHDL

Tuesday, 15.06.2021

Even before the pitch, the lions were overflowing with superlatives about the gaming market. The backdrop of the start-up Zaunkönig left no doubt as to what the pitch would be about. But such an exciting market also harbours dangers, as became clear a little later. So even a start-up in the gaming sector has to offer a lot more.

Click’n’Tree: The Right Founder for “Caritalism“ #DHDL

Wednesday, 09.06.2021

The last start-up to be broadcasted in season 9 of "Die Höhle der Löwen" has it all over again: a not-so-simple business model that first has to be explained. A lion offer that has never existed before. An investor who is breaking new ground. And finally, a lion who drops out in order to enter a battle of the combined offers with another lion at the end.

Lambus: Almost a Silicon Valley start-up #DHDL

Wednesday, 02.06.2021

A good team, a high willingness to take risks, but no entrepreneurs. A lot of potential, but no precise planning. Hardly any turnover, but good user numbers. And a business model that is not yet fully developed, but a high valuation. Many German founders probably think "USA" here. And indeed, the main founder of Lambus worked in Silicon Valley for four years. Can two such different start-up cultures be brought together?

Evertree: A subject close to our hearts – and one of regularities #DHDL

Wednesday, 26.05.2021

As broad as the range of topics discussed in "Die Höhle der Löwen" usually is, rarely have the two main topics in the dialogue between founders and investors been so contradictory. On the one hand, the emotionality of the topic - on the other hand, the big question about the existing regulations that significantly determine the market. But the founders managed the balancing act.

Primoza: Everything fits but with no investor #DHDL

Tuesday, 04.05.2021

Founders often think that if they don't get investment, they did something "wrong" in the pitch or in the negotiation. But as the case of Primoza with its “growing calendar” shows, this is not necessarily the case, because sometimes it just doesn't fit. For one it might be the sales channels, for another the topic itself. But what else could be behind the reasons for rejection?

Steadify: It won’t work without numbers #DHDL

Tuesday, 27.04.2021

The start was good, the portable tripod was particularly well received by amateur photographer Dagmar Wöhrl. The Q&A session also got off to a promising start, but then the talk turned to the figures and the dream of a lion deal was shattered. The founders were surprised by the details of the questions. But did the lions really "corner" the founders?

MyEy: A market too niche or a really exciting market after all #DHDL

Tuesday, 20.04.2021

The big plan: to finally send chicken on permanent holiday, to abolish battery cages as far as possible. But at first things didn't look so good for master confectioner and baker Chris Geiser. The taste of his vegan egg substitute was not really convincing as a fried egg. Dr. Georg Kofler then thought the market was too niche. But the tide turned and finally, there were two offers. Why were the other lions convinced by the market?

rePAQ: When a breakthrough product alone is not enough #DHDL

Wednesday, 14.04.2021

Rarely do you see all the lions so unanimously enthusiastic as in the case of rePAQ, Ralf Dümmel even took a bow. But at a certain point the mood seemed to tilt a bit and in the end they couldn't agree on a deal with the founders. What was it that was missing, alt-hough the topic had carried everyone away from the beginning?

Skills4School shows that entrepreneurs can be found everywhere #DHDL

Wednesday, 25.11.2020

When investors are really impressed by a founder, the phrase "That's a good founder" often comes up. But what exactly do they mean by that, and, more importantly, how do you get them to talk like that about you?

Soummé: When weaknesses become strengths #DHDL

Tuesday, 24.11.2020

It is a widespread misconception that investors only want to see "perfect" figures and otherwise do not invest. When negotiating with investors, it is much more important as a founder to show that you have your company under control.

NUI Cosmetics: Advanced brand building #DHDL

Tuesday, 24.11.2020

NUI founder Swantje was extremely keen to make a deal and finally accepted Judith William’s offer. But instead of 20%, she had to give up 40% of her company. And that despite a turnover of over 1 million euros. How and why did this happen?