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New METRO Accelerator powered by TechStars Calls on Start-ups To Work on Tech Solutions for Retail

  • Startups from seven countries will scale up their new digital applications for retail and wholesale
  • The teams will collaborate with more than 100 mentors from METRO, Real and their partner Techstars for three months in Berlin and receive up to €120,000 in funding each
  • Several hundred applications from 24 nations received for the new METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars
  • The startups will present their solutions to international investors on 5 September

Düsseldorf, 2017-Jun-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — The METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars goes into its first round. For the next three months, the participating startups from all over the world will work on promising solutions for Retail such as delivery robots, novel navigation technologies, smart sensors, digital tools for avoiding food waste or a more customer-friendly link between offline and online shops. The international accelerator programme purposefully refines digital solutions for independent traders and retailers (B2B2C) – a key customer group of METRO – as well as for Real, one of the leading hypermarket operators (B2C).

The following startups from seven different countries made it to the new METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars:

  • Mio Mobile: Delivery robot and navigation technology for autonomous distribution and delivery in the public space. to the portrait
  • Oriient: High-end indoor navigation solution controlled by the earth’s magnetic field and suited for direct implementation independently of any kind of infrastructure. to the portrait
  • Whole Surplus: Food waste B2B solution for an optimised and fair distribution of excess food in the retail sector. to the portrait
  • Epinium: Real-time evaluation of product prices and reviews for offline and online retailers as well as manufacturers. to the portrait
  • IamBot: Product identification in a photo chat with direct links to multiple purchase options. to the portrait
  • JustSnap: Gamification of discount campaigns via direct receipt analysis. to the portrait
  • Kptn Cook: Curated recipes for the foodie community with direct link to the food retailer. to the portrait
  • Sensefinity: Cloud-supported, self-learning sensors to track product and logistics data along the complete supply chain. to the portrait
  • Sensei: Capture and analysis of offline retail data with the help of existing image data. to the portrait

“We believe that these promising startups offer precisely the solutions that offline traders and retailers need to grow also in the digital world and meet their customers’ demands”, says Andreas Wuerfel, Director Global Innovation Community METRO. “The rapidly progressing digitization of Retail – including small independent traders and retailers – is a key topic for markets all over the world. With our Accelerator programme, we addressed this topic at the exact right time: several hundred startups from 24 countries worldwide applied for our programme. METRO, Real and Techstars are perceived as attractive experts and partners for startups.”

For three months’ time the teams will receive intensive support from some 100 mentors – all acknowledged retail specialists and experts from METRO, Real und Techstars – to scale-up their business model as well as up to €120,000 in funding. On 5 September, the teams will present their results to international investors.

“Solutions from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Thins represent the future for traditional offline retailers and also for multi-channel retail companies. With the Accelerator, we have attracted the most exciting startups in the market and are now preparing them for the investor market”, says Alexander Hafner, Managing Director Techstars for the METRO Accelerator for Retail. “Our huge Techstars alumni network assists the teams in addressing potential investors”.

The Retail Accelerator programme will be continued alternating with the Hospitality Accelerator which has been successful conducted for two years already. Up until 30 June 2017, startups offering digital solutions for the hospitality sector can apply for the third round of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars at


Founded by: Roman Drokov

Date and place of founding: 2016 in Great Britain and Lithuania

Kiosk and errand boy on four wheels: delivery robot including navigation technology for autonomous distribution and delivery in public space

Mio knows what customers want. The self-driving delivery and ending machine robot Mio Mobile sells products such as drinks and snacks directly to end consumers. Mio Mobile attracts customer attention with his looks and therefore makes a good marketer for retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. At the same time, it stimulates impulse buying, helps strengthen the supply network in urban and also in rural areas. This technology symbolises the new generation of mobile retail and opens up new growth opportunities for retailers.

Oriient Shopping like in the web: high-end indoor navigation solution controlled by the earth’s magnetic field and independent of any kind of infrastructure

Online retailers know exactly what their customers are looking for and buying. For customers, it is way easier to systematically discover special offers, campaigns and benefit from them on online shopping platforms than in offline stores. Bricks-and-mortar retailers should bridge this gap with the help of Oriient. Without requiring any investment into technical infrastructure, this new navigation solution enables offline retailers to give their customers access to the same benefits as those offered on the online platforms. This technology is controlled by the earth’s magnetic field and can be directly implemented anywhere and anytime. “Connected shopping” thus becomes a reality.

Founded by: Olcay Silahli

Date and place of founding: 2016 in Turkey (Istanbul)

Good-bye to food waste: B2B solution for an optimized and fair distribution of excess food in the retail sector

Nowadays, food which can no longer be sold usually still finds its rightful destination via phone calls and e-mails to the charities. The Turkish start-up Whole Surplus (Fazlagida) wants to render this process more efficient by offering a technology platform for retailers and producers. In real-time, this application allows to organise, and administrate, food donations at several locations in parallel. That way, also the requirements in terms of sustainability and social welfare as well as tax aspects for the donating companies can be monitored on one central platform.

Founded by: Carlos Barriga

Date and place of founding: 2016 in Spain (Barcelona)

What customers will buy tomorrow: tool for the real-time evaluation of product prices and reviews for offline and online retailers as well as manufacturers

Knowing always what their next bestseller will be can be worth a mint for retailers and manufacturers alike. But analysing customer wishes in an anticipatory manner is a complex task. Epinium is a platform that examines and evaluates the product reviews from different online shops and online retail platforms in real time to provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis for the product in question. The reviews can be of great benefit for both offline and online retailers and simplify the offer management without having to conduct time-consuming focus group analysis. The data analytics platform is characterised by a particularly valuable and useful presentation of results.

Founded by: Pawel Kolacz

Date and place of founding: 2017 in Poland (Wroclaw)

Chatbot as a shopping assistant: product identification in a photo chat with direct links to multiple purchase options

This shopping assistant operates in a completely virtual manner and intuitively connects offline retail with online retail: IamBot is a visual chatbot operating on the basis of the Facebook Messenger service. The customer takes the picture of a product in the store and sends the photo via Facebook Messenger to IamBot. The software uses artificial intelligence to identify the product and presents the corresponding offers from affiliated web shops to the user. The product can be ordered directly via the “Buy” button on Facebook. That way, customers gain maximum flexibility for their buying decisions.

Founded by: Ahmet Ünver

Date and place of founding: 2015 in Turkey (Istanbul)

Bonus points per mobile photo: gamification of discount campaigns via direct receipt analysis

The next generation of bonus loyalty cards is smart and digital. With JustSnap, customers simply send a photograph of their receipt via the app installed on their smartphone and receive instant rewards. The app makes it possible to set up campaigns with immediate evaluation and supports the technical capabilities of mobile retail. Advertisements can be placed and ended quickly without requiring any campaigns and codes at the checkout, at the point of sale or even on the products themselves.

Founded by: Alexander Reeg

Date and place of founding: 2014 in Germany (Berlin)

An app that facilitates cooking: curated recipes for the foodie community with direct access to food retailers

Feel like cooking, but don’t have any good ideas and the right ingredients? KptnCook is a smartphone app that partners with food bloggers around the world to offer three new thirty-minute recipes every day. New recipes are presented every 24 hours. Unlike conventional recipe platforms all ingredients are directly paired with the assortment of local grocery shops. All ingredients can be purchased at the customer’s local supermarket. Food retailers can also enable orders directly from the app via online shop.

Founded by: Orlando Remedios

Date and place of founding: 2013 in Portugal (Lisbon) and Spain

Guardian of the supply chain: cloud-supported, self-learning sensors track product and logistics data

Sensefinity has been working on the Internet of Things since its founding four years ago. Now this startup from Portugal added an exciting application for food retailers and delivery services to its portfolio. With specifically developed smart sensors and the Sensefinity technology, it is possible to control the position, temperature, moisture, air pressure and a wealth of other product data along the complete supply chain and thereby guarantee a uniform quality in a standardised manner.

Founded by: Vasco Portugal

Date and place of founding: 2015 in Portugal (Lisbon)

Precise analytics for the retail sector: capture and analysis of offline retail data with the help of existing image data

The start-up Sensei offers valuable insights for customers and retailers. Based on image data from offline retail, market intelligence – for example from social media or the retailer’s online shop – and other information such as weather data and crucial elements of the supply chain, this software application creates an intelligent platform that improves the buying process. Thus, retailers can align their store assortment even more purposefully with customer demands without the need for any costly investments.

Under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, METRO and Techstars, in two programs, help international start-up teams in the development of digital solutions. One of the programs focuses on solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector while the second program is aimed at the retail industry. In the framework of the three-month programs organised in Berlin, experienced mentors and experts will in each case help ten selected start-ups to successfully develop their own business further with regard to customers and investors. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was launched in 2015 with a regularly hosted hospitality program that is the unique in the world. More information available at

The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people around the world. In 2015/16, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of start-up programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from the idea to venture capital investments to M&A and IPO. For more information visit

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