12.10.2021 20:30 2.597
Record at “The Lion’s Den”: Swiss company amazes with a blatant invention
From Erik-Holm Langhof
Cologne – Never before has the Vox show “The lion’s den“A start-up called such a high rating: The founders of Scewo from Switzerland want a total of five million euros for just 10 percent! But they also offer a product that can hardly be topped in terms of high-tech.
It looks like a vehicle from the future: white housing, blue LEDs and agile like a Segway. The Scewo Pro is one of the most modern wheelchairs in the world.
The vehicle of the start-up from Winterthur in Switzerland impresses by its appearance, but the functions of the “Tesla wheelchair” also impress the lions.
“With the Scewo we have created the first wheelchair suitable for everyday use that can climb and descend stairs independently,” explained founder Bernhard Winter (27) to investors on the TV show on Monday evening.
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The device is very stable on the stairs and the seat is always horizontal. Lioness Dagmar Wöhrl (67) tries it out for herself.
Furthermore, the vehicle can be adjusted in height so that disabled people can, for example, also go to the upper shelf in the supermarket. The vehicle is controlled using a smartphone app or traditionally using a joystick. With the former, the three inventors Thomas Gemperle (34), Pascal Buholzer (29) and Bernhard Winter (27) even offer a reversing camera.
“We always say we’re building the Tesla under wheelchairs,” said Winter. “But you can no longer join Tesla. With us you can.”
33,500 euros for a “wheelchair Tesla”
At least as impressive as the presentation of the product is the evaluation that the three young Swiss call for: For an investment of five million euros, the founders only offer ten percent company shares!
Extrapolated, this results in a company valuation of 50 million euros. In the seven-year history of the TV show with the lions, no start-up has called for a higher sum.
So far, according to the Swiss, around 30 Scewo wheelchairs have been sold at a price of just under 33,500 euros each. This has already led to sales of almost half a million euros.
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In addition, hundreds of other inquiries about a Scewo Pro have already been received by the company. This is also how the entrepreneurs justify their assessment and future market prospects.
Due to the increasingly aging population, an increasing demand can be expected. According to their own statements, the founders of Scewo also want to bring other products to the market in addition to wheelchairs in the future.
These include a light version of the wheelchair and a delivery robot that could bring home shopping or parcels.
Kofler: “I have come to believe that you are megalomaniac”
The lions in the show are speechless after the presentation. Ex-Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg (36) shakes his head in disbelief: “Crazy. Phenomenal!” Dagmar Wöhrl is also enthusiastic.
But the general buzz doesn’t last long when it comes to capital requirements. Georg Kofler (64) wonders above all how the high sum should be financed by the customers.
The founding trio also relies on health insurance companies. The first talks have already taken place. In individual cases, the assumption of costs has probably even been approved.
But in the end, Kofler was not convinced by the evaluation or the product. He said on the program: “I have come to believe that you are megalomaniac, in a constructive sense. But the road is too rocky for me, so I’m out.”
The other lions got out too, except for Carsten Maschmeyer (63)! He did something that had never happened before: He withdrew for a phone call with his team – and made other lions a bit snappy.
The founders were hoping for a deal, but in the end Maschmeyer had to disappoint them too: “You are one Innovationsbombe! But you can do something too well, too many functions. And the price goes up for that. I don’t think you built a Tesla for wheelchair users, you built a Rolls-Royce. We have far fewer Rolls-Royce drivers than VW drivers. That’s why I’m out! “
Title photo: Scewo AG