Home » DHDL: But no deal between Ralf Dümmel and Betula Natura

DHDL: But no deal between Ralf Dümmel and Betula Natura

by admin
DHDL: But no deal between Ralf Dümmel and Betula Natura

Valeria Weingardt is the youngest founder to have taken part in “The Lions’ Den” to date. With her startup Betula Natura, she makes toothbrush cases made of birch bark.

Betula Natura: The founder Valeria Weingardt sews together birch bark for her toothbrush cases. RTL / Bernd-Michael Maurer

At 16 years old, Valeria Weingardt is the youngest founder to have taken part in “The Lions’ Den” to date. She introduced her startup Betula Natura to investors. Betula is the scientific name for birch. The founder uses the bark to make cases for toothbrush heads. The founder’s offer: 60,000 euros for 20 percent of the company shares.

Even though all five investors found the founder herself convincing, only one lion saw an investment case in the startup: Ralf Dümmel. His offer: 60,000 euros for 25.1 percent. This would give him the right to vote and veto decisions. However, there was no deal after the broadcast, as Gründerszene learned from the company environment. An inquiry from Gründerszene as to why the deal fell through was left unanswered by the investor and founder.

Startup with daughter-mother duo

Weingardt has been concerned with the topics of sustainability and zero-waste since she was 11 years old. The stages in the founding history of Betula Natura can be found on the startup’s website. Weingardt came up with the first idea of ​​making toothbrush cases out of birch bark in 2018. A year later, at the “Next Entrepreneurs Weekend,” she turned her idea into a prototype together with mentors from the startup scene – and came in first place. From then on, Weingardt continued to develop the idea and product. Further competitions and prizes followed.

See also  Milano Hub, Bankitalia opens to the selection of fintech projects: it starts in September, focus on artificial intelligence

The founder receives support in her startup from her mother Julia Weingardt – also in the production of the cases. The birch bark comes untreated from the supplier. In the next step, mother and daughter punch into rectangles and sew them into a cover on the sewing machine, Weingardt explained on the show. The latter is mainly done by her mother, because she works in the textile industry. “For her it doesn’t make a big difference whether she sews birch bark or fabric,” said Weingardt. It was also Weingardt’s mother who had the idea of ​​sewing the birch bark together. Production takes place in one of the mother’s old commercial premises.

Read too

No more “camel toe”: DHDL founder presents the lions with new panties

The birch cover is not only sustainable, but also antibacterial. Weingardt conducted a mini-study with a professor in the student laboratory at the University of Konstanz. A toothbrush stored in a birch bark case had “40 times fewer bacterial colonies on it than the toothbrush stored in a plastic case,” the founder says on the show.

So that the student project could become a company, Weingardt was in the lion’s den looking for an investor. The founder and mother have been selling the birch bark cases for four years, as Weingardt said on the show. In these four years they sold around 3,600 cases, with a turnover of 10,000 euros. Production should be automated in the future in order to be able to sell larger quantities. The founder also plans to produce a facial peeling soap and toothpaste powder from birch.

See also  NFT and fantasy football, Mbappé also joined Sorare's team

This is what the investors said about Betula Natura

Tijen Onaran admires the founder’s drive, but she says the product still lacks uniqueness. “I think that’s something you should think about again,” Onaran said. The timing is not right for investor Tillmann Schulz. “I believe it is still too early to attempt this roll-out,” he said. He doesn’t yet see the prospects of scalability.

Nils Glagau saw it similarly. He found the founder and vision “fantastic”. However, the target group is too small for him. Too few people would cover their toothbrushes. According to him, this would also be reflected in the number of units sold. “You have created a beautiful roof for yourself and have products where you can always say that this is what the birch brings, the peeling, the tooth powder. I also believe that the roof works.” For investor Dagmar Wöhrl, the product doesn’t fit into the portfolio.

In the end, hope lay with Dümmel, who, unlike the other lions, did not find the number of units sold low. “Just sewing 3,000 pieces at home with mom and selling them, you don’t have to make yourself smaller than it is. I think you have a really cool idea and a problem solver and I think you have to go where toothbrushes are sold.” He sees the product in drugstores and organic markets. “We can’t let you go here,” he said. “I’m amazed and would like to go on the journey with you.” Nothing came of that.

Read too

DHDL deal collapsed: That’s why Carsten Maschmeyer didn’t invest in the AI ​​startup Casablanca

However, a look at the homepage of the startup Betula Natura shows that the founder continued to work on her idea after recording the broadcast. In January this year, Betula Natura became a corporate company. Product development also seemed to be progressing. The founder now sells the peeling and natural soap announced in the show in the online shop. The tooth cleaning powder should be added soon.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy