Class of 2015: A Story of Success

The startups participating in the first METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars have had great success with the international investor community through their digital solutions for the hospitality industry.

The Accelerator programme’s first class has so far managed to raise more than USD 52 million in funding. METRO is now opening the third round of the METRO Accelerator for Hospitality with the well-established cooperation of Techstars, in order to promote digital solutions for the hospitality industry.

With a current investment sum of more than USD 52 million, the 10 startups participating in the opening round of METRO Accelerator by Techstars in 2015/16 have achieved higher average investments than the startups in all programmes of the US partner company Techstars. Ten out of 11 participating startups are now active in the market and thus mirror the 90% success rate of Techstars startups. ‟We are thrilled about the success stories the participating startups have been showing in such a short period of time,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. ‟However, it is most important that we contribute to making our customers, entrepreneurs from the restaurant and hotel sectors, more successful in a sustainable way. The digital tools of METRO Accelerator help our customers in scaling their productivity and services and thus, growing even more competitively in a digital world.”


Success of startups through investments and partnerships

Among the latest success stories are companies such as Flowtify: the provider of paperless quality management in the hospitality and food industry, won High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) as an investor a few months ago. In exchange for a stake of 15 percent, HTGF invested €600,000 in the Cologne-based company.

Participants in the second Accelerator programme in autumn/winter 2016 have also been able to claim some remarkable success already: Frag Paul, a digital staffing assistant for restaurant operators, has been cooperating with METRO Cash & Carry Germany.

“With METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, we are offering exactly what many startups are lacking in order to get started: insights and contacts relating to the hospitality industry. The companies get the opportunity to expand one’s own knowledge and client base through pilot projects,” explains Andreas Wuerfel, Director Global Innovation Community at METRO. “It is precisely this mix that leads to good growth results for the participating startups.” Wuerfel, himself a renowned expert on collaborations between major companies and startups, is strengthening the METRO Accelerator team.

“The close cooperation between Techstars as a leading startup network and METRO as one of the world’s leading wholesalers has proven that there is a highly attractive market for digital solutions in restaurants and hotels for investors as well as operators. We still have a long way to go before we exhaust this potential,” says Jens Lapinski, Managing Director Techstars of METRO Accelerator.

‟The third round of the Accelerator will push the boundaries here in every respect – we are now in a position to fully exploit the sales capacities for digital products that METRO has built up. This gives young companies significantly improved market access, and therefore a competitive advantage.”

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