The company sold homemade cakes to seniors. Now the cookie rumors are on the verge of extinction. Carsten Maschmeyer also invested in the company.
Just a few weeks ago, Katharina Mayer had big plans. The founder of the start-up cake plotsip runs a bakery in Munich with her own online store. The special feature: more than 50 seniors bake cakes, which gives them the opportunity to be active and exchange. According to Mayer, the social aspect was the motivation when she founded the company eight years ago. According to its own statements, in 2021 it spent over 800,000 euros.
In April, Mayer planned to take her startup to a new level. The 600 square meter facility in Munich’s Theresienwiese was to be converted into an ‘adventure bakery’ with a café and event space.
The project was to be financed through a crowdfunding campaign, with nearly 130 small investors contributing a total of € 234,000 – much more than originally planned. Mayer promised them an annual return of six percent over a seven-year period – in the form of a pie. At € 2,000 this would be four cakes a year, as Mayer calculated for SZ: “I think it’s great when people come to us, watch their money invested, enjoy the cakes and visit the bakery.”
“My heart is broken”
But nothing will come of it. The company filed a petition to open bankruptcy proceedings on Wednesday in the district court in Munich. Attorney Max Liebig has been appointed interim administrator of the bankruptcy estate. Cake Gossip founder Mayer has already reported a bankruptcy on LinkedIn career portal. “My heart is broken,” wrote the 33-year-old.
In her speech, Mayer also commented on the reasons for the insolvency. Therefore, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to close the financing gap, including for the planned renovation of the bakery. “The overall tense economic situation has hurt us too, and the campaign has not been as successful as it should have been,” explains Mayer. Two years ago, a Munich start-up launched baking mixes that cost around six euros and were much more expensive than competitors’ products. In addition, the pandemic burdened the company economically. Closing the gap by the existing shareholders was out of the question. And: “The agreement with the new potential investor has failed.”
Double Interest in “Lion’s Left”
This means that an outstanding investor will also have to write off his investment in cookie gossip: Carsten Maschmeyer. In 2018, he participated in the cookie rumors with Dagmar Wöhrl as part of the TV start-up show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. At that time, € 100,000 flowed in, and in return, founder Katharina Mayer gave up ten percent of her company. Investor Carsten Maschmeyer was enthusiastic about their idea: “We give older people the opportunity to bake, gossip and earn extra money. For me, it is an investment from the heart, ”said the lion at the time. Wöhrl has meanwhile sold its share of the company.
At first, it was not clear why Maschmeyer did not support the founder. In the corporate environment, you hear that the business model is difficult to scale. It is said that investors were not involved in the cookie rumors anyway for financial reasons, but to support a social idea.
This was confirmed by investor spokesman Carsten Maschmeyer at the request of the start-up scene. In order for the cookie rumor to continue, they were ready to hand over the shares to a new investor for a symbolic euro. There was already a purchase contract and a meeting with the notary. But the agreement was not concluded in the short term, as the saying goes.
The coming weeks will show whether the company with the last 80 employees has a future. Founder Katharina Mayer still seems to have the greatest hope. The startup’s website reports that it is closed. But only “temporarily”.
Note: An earlier version of the article stated that Dagmar Wöhrl was involved in the cookie gossip. This is no longer the case. We have corrected the error.