Not every "Lion's Den" deal lasts after the show, word should have gotten around by now. The case of the Munich cushion startup "Tinus" is nevertheless an extraordinary one. Because at the time the program was broadcast on Monday evening, in which Carsten Maschmeyer and Ralf Dümmel promised a lucrative investment, the start-up no longer existed.
In the start-up show, Jaqueline Schaupp and Simon Greschl presented an innovative pillow for people suffering from tinnitus. These sound waves are supposed to be transmitted by means of a liquid in the pillow, drowning out the tinnitus whistling and thus making it easier to fall asleep. Carsten Maschmeyer was hooked on the idea and even persuaded his colleague Ralf Dümmel, who was not particularly enthusiastic, to make a joint investment of 350,000 euros.
The deal was conditional. Because the lions found the sales price of 800 euros per pillow too high, they only gave their consent with the proviso that the Tinus pillows would be sold for 200 euros. In return, the founders demanded certain sales guarantees from the investors. But the deal did not materialize after these complicated negotiations.
Because after the TV recording, the founders apparently disappeared and didn't even try to finalize the deal. "We very much regret that we could not be available to the startup Tinus as investors," explains Ralf Dümmel in a statement via Instagram. "Immediately after the recording of 'Die Höhle der Löwen' we couldn't enter into negotiations as usual, because there wasn't even a first meeting and the company has unfortunately already filed for bankruptcy. We wish Jaqueline and Simon a lot for their personal future Success and all the best."
In fact, Tinus filed for bankruptcy in September 2022, according to a public announcement by the Munich District Court. The "Cave of the Lions" performance was recorded in spring 2022. The insolvency administrator responsible at the time told the "Gründerszene" portal that Tinus had run into financing problems because the production costs had increased massively after the show was recorded. Cost-covering production was no longer possible, and by August not even 100 pillows had been sold.
A deal with the lions was also prevented by a former shareholder who is said to have disagreed with the conditions negotiated on the show, as Maschmeyer told Bild. Instead of a deal and a breakthrough for the pillow start-up, bankruptcy followed. And by the time "Lion's Cave" was broadcast, Tinus was long gone.