The founders of the Hamburg-based Foodguide app Malte Steiert, 24, and Finn Fahrenkrug, 26 secured Tuesday a EUR 450,000 investment in return for 31.6 per cent of their company from Carsten Maschmeyer on VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” show. Maschmeyer owns an investment company in San Francisco and is backing Foodguide’s bid to launch on the U.S. market.
Judith Williams hunting for restaurants in Paris
During their pitch, Steiert and Fahrenkrug sent another “lion” Judith Williams in search of a restaurant on her imaginary tour of Paris. Similar to Tinder, Williams soon “swiped” her favourite restaurant on Foodguide. The app tracks down restaurants in a user’s location and shows photos of the most popular dishes and uploaded by fans.
Reserving tables and making payments
The app reacts to user behaviour and offers e.g. vegetarians and vegans dishes to suit their tastes. Williams soon had a choice of beef burger, a veggie bowl or a tartar of tuna to order in Paris. Users can also reserve a restaurant table and pay for the food on the app, the founders stressed.
EUR 100,000 turnover last year
Frank Thelen, a “lion” and digital expert, quizzed the duo in-depth about daily user numbers to which Steiert replied 2,800. Questions about turnover in 2016 followed. Last year, Steiert and Fahrenkurg earned EUR 100,00 with their team of ten employees. However, not all of the potential investors were keen to launch in the United States.
Criticism from Maschmeyer
Eventually, Maschmeyer offered to invest EUR 450,000 in return for a 31.6 per cent share of the company and despite remarking critically: “You are chaotic. You lack focus.” The founders of Foodguide had earlier hoped to secure an investment in return for 15 per cent of their company, but they accepted the deal after conferring briefly. The start-up is one of many success stories from Hamburg to appear on the show and is probably not the last.