Lorenz Graubner is the founder of Federball.de – a recently-founded company specialising in high-quality shuttlecocks for badminton players in Europe. A longtime badminton player, Lorenz founded Federball.de after noticing a lack of quality shuttlecocks available to professional players in Europe. The website, Federball.de, also serves as an online information platform for badminton players and enthusiasts, with a collection of videos from various tournaments, and written information about the sport.
A quick look at your website shows a wide selection of badminton videos, as well as a few pages of basic information about the sport. Is Federball.de mainly some kind of information portal for badminton-enthusiasts?
Federball.de is, at the moment, is an internet platform where you can watch high-quality videos badminton matches from international tournaments for free. The main point of my company, however, is selling my own brand of badminton shuttlecocks. I started Federball.de three months ago – a month after moving to Berlin. I started out using a very streamlined business model, only focusing on one product – the shuttlecocks. The website and the videos collection is just a hobby of mine, as I am passionate about badminton. In the future, I plan to include an online store on the site, where I will sell my brand of shuttlecocks.
Do you design and manufacture these shuttlecocks yourself? If not, where are they sourced?
The shuttlecocks are printed with the Federball brand. They are, however, produced and designed at a factory in China, near Shanghai. This factory was actually one of the first manufacturers of badminton equipment in China, and are still known among badminton players today for their high-quality products, which is why I have already received orders for these shuttlecocks from badminton clubs in several countries in Europe.
I am a passionate badminton player, and have been playing for about eight years. In the last few years, the quality of shuttlecocks has gone down tremendously. I started looking online for places to buy the best quality shuttlecocks, and I soon realized that there is no such source in Germany: because the demand here is not that high, there are only three main companies that sell shuttlecocks here. Most shuttlecocks end up on the market here about a year after their production because they often go through various middlemen first, and since these shuttlecocks are made with organic materials – real goose feathers and cork – they are no longer fresh, and break easily. Getting shuttlecocks directly from the factory, instead of having them go through various traders, will ensure that we get fresh ones that last longer. One shuttlecock – a good quality one – lasts about three minutes during a match, after which it has to be replaced. Ordering directly from the factory is also a way for badminton clubs to reduce their costs. For example, my own club has about 40 players, and we spend approximately eight-thousand Euros a year only on shuttlecocks. By ordering higher-quality, longer-lasting shuttlecocks in bulk, we can reduce these costs.
Were you always based at betahaus? How do you like working here?
I began working from betahaus immediately after moving to Berlin. I am originally from the far southwestern part of Germany, close to Switzerland, and the culture is very much old-fashioned, so Berlin was a nice change from that. What I like about betahaus is the use of the infrastructure by all the different kinds of startups. My brother moved to Berlin two years ago, and recommended betahaus to me based on his own experience. I’m very happy about my decision to come here so far.
Federball.de is a very new company, but with big goals. What can we expect from Federball.de in the near future?
At the moment, the company is being run entirely by myself. I am, however, looking for a marketing specialist to promote my brand among all the badminton clubs – I would need a specialist for this, otherwise it’s very hard to establish a new brand like this.
The factory from which the shuttlecocks are being sourced already produces a well-known brand among badminton clubs in Europe. I initially ordered a few test-shuttlecocks with their brand instead of mine, and I began getting requests from clubs in Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, and several other European countries. So I would like to build on that and go further.