© Sabina Radtke

Lions’ Den Startup Gobunion: Femtech for Your Feet

The Munich startup Gobunion is a great example of femtech. After all, a ‘hallux valgus’ — also known as a bunion — is something women have nine times more often than men. Roughly ten million people are affected in Germany alone. And to deal with the problem, founder Sarita Bradly developed an innovative and stylish solution. She pitched Gobunion on the German startup show The Lions’ Den (Höhle der Löwen) in 2019 — and won over Ralf Dümmel as an investor. Sarita Bradley answers our Seven Questions about her idea and tells us what’s happened since her appearance on The Lions’ Den.

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do?

Sarita Bradley: Gobunion is a Munich startup based on the idea of making life easier for women who have problems with bunions. Our socks have a toe spacer that gently pushes the big toe back to into its original position and makes sure the bump doesn’t get bigger. It’s a slip-proof and discreet solution for everyday use for style-conscious women.

I started with research and development about four years ago. It took quite a while until I had a final design. In October 2018, I launched Gobunion at the Munich ‘Beauty Forum’ Trade Fair. Just eleven months later, my pitch was broadcasted on The Lions’ Den and I received two offers. One was from Georg Kofler and one from Ralf Dümmel. Ralf Dümmel got the bid.

Gobunion received two offers on The Lions’ Den

Sarita Bradley during her pitch on the German show The Lions’ Den (Die Höhle der Löwen) © MG RTL D Frank W. Hempel

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Sarita Bradley: There really isn’t a ‘2-in-1’ medical product in this form yet. I was also really surprised that the product didn’t exist yet. It helps with the daily bunion routine, keeps the bump from increasing and relieves pain thanks to the optimized size and thickness of the soft gel insert.

Munich Startup: What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Sarita Bradley: Before launching the product, it was the strategic decisions, such as packaging. After launching the product, distribution channels are the biggest challenge.

More than 100,000 socks sold

Munich Startup: Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?

The founder has already sold 100,000 pairs of her bunion socks.

Sarita Bradley: We’re totally stunned by the excellent response. On The Lions’ Den, I talked about selling 90,000 units. We currently — as of December 2019 — have sold roughly 100,000 medical socks with a trade turnover of approximately 1.7 million euros.

Munich Startup: What did you learn on The Lions’ Den? What did you take away from the experience?

Sarita Bradley: The Lions’ Den was an amazing experience for me. But you should think long and hard about founding a startup. You’ll face so many new and unexpected challenges that you aren’t familiar with from the planning phase. And my advice for others: No matter how much you’ve budgeted — count on needing more!

Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Sarita Bradley: That’s something time will tell!

Munich Startup: Tea or coffee?

Sarita Bradley: Always coffee for me in the morning and then tea throughout the day.