Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Romy Lindenberg, Shavent: We developed the plastic-free Shavent pivot-head razor – the convenient and gentle way to sustainably shave the entire body. Why? Because in Germany alone, up to 500 million disposable cartridge heads end up in the trash every year. That’s equivalent to 100 truck loads of trash that can’t be recycled. That’s insane! And it’s trash that’s also quite expensive: The razor handle is usually available in drug stores as a bargain offer, but the disposable cartridge heads that you need for the handle end up costing a pretty penny over the long term.
Our family startup Shavent has committed itself to offering a genuine alternative. That’s why we developed our Shavent pivot-head razor, which is plastic-free, durable and unisex. You only replace what really needs replacing, namely the blades instead of the entire cartridge head. You can use regular and affordable standard razor blades that are available from many brands. Over the long term, you end up not just reducing waste, but also saving money.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Romy Lindenberg: Aaaaacutally it is! My dad was tired of using the expensive and trash-producing cartridge heads for his razor set from the drug store, but simply couldn’t find a satisfying alternative. He couldn’t get used to using a traditional safety razor. For a quick daily shave, he missed the convenience of the pivot-head and multi-blade shave that he was used to from drug store razors – and a straight razor wasn’t suitable for daily use for him either.
Because he wasn’t willing to accept having to choose between sustainability and convenience, he went and constructed his own razor – the Shavent, which combines the outstanding convenience of a pivot-head razor with the simplicity of affordable and recyclable standard razor blades.
“We had never experienced such smooth skin”
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Romy Lindenberg: If at all, people are usually born into a family business – we did things the other way around. My dad, Armin Seidel, is a passionate mechanical engineer and developed the Shavent himself. With many prototypes from the 3D printer, he perfected the design until he had created his optimal shaving experience. When he showed the Shavent to my mom and me, we immediately tried it and were totally amazed: It wasn’t just sustainable, it was better than anything we had ever used before. We had never experienced such smooth skin. It quickly became clear: The Shavent razor isn’t something we could just keep to ourselves, and that’s how we decided to found our family startup.
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Romy Lindenberg: Producing a product yourself from start to finish is obviously a major challenge. Finding the right local partners (Shavent is made in Germany), high initial investments, optimizing the products until they meet our high standard of quality – that was a major challenge in the beginning. But we found a fantastic partner in Thuringia, which is also a family-run business with a wealth of experience, that is not only producing a gorgeous, durable Shavent with us, but also gave us full and complete support after the incredible surge in demand that came after our appearance aired on the startup TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. That was also a huge challenge – producing and dispatching the amount we had planned for a year in just three months was a major feat for everyone, but we successfully rode out the adventure together.
Shavent in more than 20,000 bathrooms
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Romy Lindenberg: The number of people we were able to reach with the topic of “plastic-free shaving,” especially with our TV appearance, is truly incredible. The Shavent is now at home in more than 20,000 bathrooms and has so many enthusiastic fans! And this is just the beginning for us – almost 90 percent of our orders come from German-speaking countries. That means there are still lots of bathrooms out there that we want to liberate from unsightly, trash-producing plastic razors.
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Romy Lindenberg: Because I experienced Berlin as a startup location during my time as the managing director of HelloFresh Germany, I’m always a bit surprised by Munich. Even though I haven’t lived in Berlin for years, I still know more founders there than in Munich. Corona obviously didn’t make networking any easier, but I still wish we could all put our heads together, share our ideas and experience and work together. That gives rise to so many ideas and so much potential!
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Romy Lindenberg: Staying power. We entered the market with the Shavent to conquer bathrooms around the world.