A selection panel of more than 30 members comprising investors, METRO and Target executives as well as other valued partners selected 9 tech start-ups from France, Germany, Israel, USA and Sweden. Over the next 3 months they will be able to further develop, refine and test their business models with extensive support from the wholesale and food specialist METRO and the US retailer Target. The programme also entails an investment component in the form of a convertible note from both METRO and Target, as well as support in the areas of piloting, scaling and industry expertise. The highlight of the programme: On 8 August, the teams will pitch their solutions to potential investors and key stakeholders in Minneapolis at Target headquarters.
“This Accelerator programme is strategically important for us and highly relevant for our 24 million customers. Our sector is one of the markets with the strongest digital growth rates and therefore the exchange between start-ups and industry experts in the framework of the Accelerator represents the key for developing important competitive advantages,” says Sylvia Dudek, Programme Director of the METRO Target Retail Accelerator. “And with this joint programme we will be able to promote start-ups even more specifically and thereby build on the success of our first programme.”
With the new METRO Target Retail Accelerator the following 9 start-ups from 5 countries across the world will be provided with unique access to the wholesale and retail industry across continents:
- Afresh from San Francisco (USA) – Afresh’s technology brings intelligence in the fresh food supply chain and reduces food waste. By using machine learning Afresh analyzes customer data and forecast product demand. Retail managers can then use the Afresh software to order the exact amount of fresh food that they’ll need.
- CB4 Analytics headquartered in New York City (US) with offices in London (UK) and Hertsliya (Israel) – Retailers use CB4's patented AI and machine-learning software to uncover operational issues affecting products with high local demand in stores. By analyzing only POS data, CB4 alerts store teams when issues like out of stocks, missing or mislabeled products, or other issues prevent customers from purchasing the items they love the most. By using CB4, retailers improve in-store customer experience while increasing net new sales between 0.5 – 2%.
- Einride from Stockholm (Sweden) – Rethinking road transport from scratch, Einride’s solution is based on autonomous, all-electric vehicles, coordinated by an intelligent routing software, that integrates customer data, traffic data, etc. to optimize delivery time, battery life and energy consumption — making the journey from A to B as efficient as possible.
- IDEE from Munich (Germany) – IDEE is a software company that creates a re-usable digital “identity” so users can checkout instantly, without passwords or data entry. IDEE leverages the user’s smartphone, cryptography and blockchain technology, to create these digital identities.
- LISNR from Cincinnati (USA) – LISNR has developed a new communications standard. Unlike Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, LISNR’s technology is based on an ultrasonic data transmission, enabling secure bi-communication between mobile devices and the point-of-sale payment terminal via speaker or microphone. This tech can broadcast the attendee's data to verify their ID, authenticate shoppers and safely process payments. The result: a seamless and simple experience for the customer.
- Perksy from New York (USA) – Perksy is a next-gen consumer insights platform that powers real-time research with millennial and Gen Z audiences through an immersive and gamified mobile app where users are rewarded for answering brand questions.
- Sezzle from Minneapolis (USA) – Sezzle is the U.S.-based “Shop Now, Pay Later” payment platform, helping merchants increase online sales and order values by enabling shoppers to buy now and pay later with interest-free installment plans.
- Shelfbucks from Austin (USA) – Shelfbucks provides a real-time merchandising analytics platform that automatically tracks and improves ongoing daily performance of in-store display promotions and inventory from supply chain to the sales floor for full transparency to retailers and supplier partners.
- UntieNots from Paris (France) – UntieNots provides retailers with AI powered gamified loyalty solution. Across all channels, shoppers receive personalized challenges to accomplish in order to win rewards. The mission, the condition, and the reward level are one-to-one personalized. Challenges are displayed on the web-app and on the retailer's app for a very smooth user experience.
METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 24 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and freelancers with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years. The company operates in 36 countries and employs some 146,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2017/18, METRO generated sales of €36.5 billion. In September 2018 METRO AG initiated the divestment process for the food retail chain Real with its 34,000 employees.
The METRO Accelerator operates under Hospitality Digital, a subsidiary of METRO founded in 2015 with the mission of bringing digital solutions to the HoReCa (hotel/restaurant/catering) sector, to also build a platform of innovators, founders and independent business owners. In order to cater to the 2 target groups of METRO AG, there are 2 METRO Accelerator programmes: Hospitality, which focuses on solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector, and Retail, which focuses on the retail, wholesale and trade sector. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars for Hospitality was launched in 2015, and the Accelerator for Retail began in 2017. To bring the programmes closer to their respective businesses and attract more retail solutions from around the world, METRO has partnered with the US retailer Target for its 2019 “METRO Target Retail Accelerator, Certified by Techstars”. More information at www.metroaccelerator.com and www.metro-target-accelerator.com.