Torsten Toeller, founder and sole proprietor of Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH, completed an apprenticeship in the retail trade after obtaining his secondary school leaving certificate, and went on to complete a degree in the subject. After a business trip to the US, he developed the idea of a specialty store for pet foods and accessories on the German market. At the age of 24, he opened the first Fressnapf store in Erkelenz, followed by the first store in the franchise system in 1992. At this point, Fressnapf is the leader in the pet supplies market, with around 1,400 stores in 12 European countries, over 10,000 employees and revenues of over 1.8 billion euros. In 2012, Mr Toeller founded Devario Invest GmbH, a company that develops and finances real estate projects. Two years later, he established the GENUI private equity fund, which makes growth capital available for companies.