After the Sunday Blick revelation
These are the biggest scandals from “The Lion’s Den”
SonntagsBlick revealed that founders who get deals for their business ideas on the Swiss edition of the TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” often go away empty-handed. And the format is also scandalous abroad.
Khawar Awan was blissful when he negotiated a deal with his clothing start-up Finelli on the Swiss edition of The Lion’s Den.
Khawar Awan (22) creamed off a deal for his young company Finelli on “The Lion’s Den”, which should enable him and his start-up to make a breakthrough. The “lion” Lukas Speiser, CEO of the online erotic trade Amorana, awarded him CHF 80,000 and brought the entrepreneur Tobias Reichmuth and the entrepreneur Bettina Hein on board. Triple power for success.
But Khawar Awan got nothing. After months of negotiations, the deal fell through and the founder faced ruin, as he reports to the Sunday newspaper.
Although the successful show is about existence, “The Lion’s Den” is anything but scandal-free. Especially in the German edition, there have already been dramas of fraud, accusations of sexism and even German authorities warned against buying products from the show.
First usury – then junk sale
In Germany in particular, drugstores and supermarkets like to advertise in their shops with the “Lion’s Den” label. In 2018, however, consumer protection warned against buying products from the show. The reason: the price, which is often far too high. After the broadcast, these are in the shops too quickly, and the offers are overpriced. And a few months later, the innovations would be sold at a fraction.
In addition, the authority warned, products that did not get a deal in “The Lion’s Den” are also equipped with the label. “As a result, the buyers are deceived,” says the consumer advice center.
Pinky Gloves sexism scandal
The founders André Ritterswürden and Eugen Raimkulow presented their supposedly revolutionary “Pinky Gloves” in 2021. These were pink rubber gloves that women could use to hygienically remove their tampons and dispose of them discreetly. “Lion” Ralf Dümmel (56) thought it was great, and the “women understanders”, as he called the founders, got a deal. It flew around the three men’s ears, because “Pinky Gloves” was broken down into its individual parts on social media. The product is not only sexist, it also stigmatizes periods as something impure that women should be ashamed of, according to users on Twitter, Tiktok and Instagram. To top it all off, the glove was clichéd pink and neither biodegradable nor recyclable. A week after the show was broadcast, Ralf Dümmel, André Ritterswürden and Eugen Raimkulow completely stamped out the product. “Pinky Gloves” never came out.
Founder starts petition against investor
In 2015, men’s fashion start-up Von Floerke struck a deal with German investor Frank Thelen (47). Four years later the company was in bankruptcy and the founder was devastated. David Schirrmacher made an investment of over 180,000 francs in the “Lion’s Den” and Von Floerke was able to massively increase his sales figures after the show was broadcast. So much so that the company couldn’t keep up with production and delivery. Suddenly there were customers on Facebook who didn’t want to have received their goods. Investor Thelen then distanced himself from his founder, claiming that he had not been informed about important decisions. For his part, Schirrmacher launched an online petition against Thelen, demanding that he return his shares to Von Floerke, even selling merchandise that said “Thelen has to get out” and publishing numerous hate posts against the investor on Facebook. He reacted promptly and took action with his lawyer against his former pupil. Von Floerke had to file for bankruptcy, and proceedings were opened against David Schirrmacher for delaying bankruptcy and fraud, which were later discontinued.