“Höhle der Löwen”: Munich-based Start-up Presize Secures the Second-largest Deal in the History of the TV-format

AI-based size-measure for more accuracy of fit, reduced shipping costs & sustainability in online shopping

In the minds of all those who question their purchasing decisions in terms of sustainability and environmental awareness, the topic of online shopping triggers conflicts of conscience. After all, browsing through well-sorted product pages, followed by a simple buy-per-click, has become much more convenient than the time-consuming and often haphazard digging between product shelves, coat racks and fellow shoppers. Meanwhile, the e-commerce industry has developed an image problem – partly due to countless returns. Particularly in the fashion sector, variables such as fit and unclear size information from the manufacturers mean that more and more packages are being returned to the retailer. According to an estimate by the Research Group for Returns Management at the Chair of Business Administration at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg, almost half a billion items were returned in Germany in 2018 alone. This number is likely to have increased significantly in the meantime, especially since the initial spread of the coronavirus. Neither climate activists nor e-commerce companies are happy about this. After all, returns are expensive, especially for sellers.

The core of the idea is an AI that creates a “Size-ID” for customers

A (digital) solution has now been presented by the Munich startup “Presize” as part of the TV format “Höhle der Löwen (Shark Tank)” – and thus secured the second largest deal in the history of the broadcast. With the help of a body scanner app, which was developed as a digital size advisor for fashion online stores, the founding team, which includes TUM School of Management graduate Leon Szeli, wants to revolutionize online shopping. The core of the idea is an AI that creates a “Size-ID” for customers based solely on their height, a short smartphone video or a few details about their body shape, and from then on indicates the appropriate size for the selected garment – even how well this size fits on different parts of the body. According to Szeli, “Presize scans 55 percent more accurately than competing products and thus delivers the most precise body measurements on the market.”

No question – the idea addresses and cures real pain points. And the DHDL-jury made it even more clear when they announced their decision: Carsten Maschmeyer committed to investing 650,000 euros for 15 percent of the Munich start-up. After that, it got even better: Shortly after the broadcast was recorded in April 2020, further investors increased the financing to a total of two million euros – including Plug & Play, the former Hermès Managing Director Christina Rosenberg, and Chris Brenninkmeyer, who is part of the C&A family.

The founders of presize: Awais Shafique, Leon Szeli, and Tomislav Tomov

As a result of the capital increase, the company valuation in July skyrocketed to 6.25 million euros. In one year’s time, the team intends to start a Series A financing round. The trio of founders – Leon Szeli, Tomislav Tomov and Awais Shafique – who met three years ago at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) at the Technical University of Munich, will continue to work on the app until then in order to bring the best possible product to the market. The founders have clearly formulated their goal: To provide the perfect size recommendation for a billion products. “This way, users can save time, the stores can save money and the environment can save CO2”.

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