METRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – is represented in 25 countries with over 750 self-service wholesale stores. With a headcount of about 117,000 employees worldwide, the wholesale company achieved sales of about €29 billion in the financial year 2015/16. METRO Cash & Carry is a sales brand of METRO GROUP which is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in the financial year 2015/16. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.
What is the difference between Xcel compared to METRO Accelerator?
METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was founded in 2015, there have been 7 programmes in total; 4 for hospitality and 3 for retail. Since then, market demand, start-up needs and METRO have evolved. We incorporated market feedback which meant a natural evolution to our programme. Introducing Xcel; it focusses on business development, coaching and pilot readiness.
In shifting our target group to later stage start-ups we believe that we are able to create stronger synergies and bring scaleups closer to METRO, its partners and its customers by a problem solving approach.
Participants have access to executive METRO staff, as well as METRO stakeholders and sales channels – all this, paired with one-on-one coaching makes for companies that are pilot-certified that have the bandwidth to efficiently fulfil any business goals they may have, specifically; piloting with a corporate, taking on 100s of leads at a time, entering a new market, or even branching into a new industry.
I come from a country outside of the European Union. Is this a problem regarding visas?
We have a close partnership with Berlin Partner who have been very helpful with visa applications. We cannot promise anything, but we were able to secure visas for all individuals to whom we sent an offer in Berlin in 2019. We cannot help companies with visas before we have made an offer and the offer has been accepted.
I don’t speak any German. Is this a problem?
No. The program is run entirely in English. Participants should speak English well but no knowledge of German is required.
My company isn’t incorporated yet. Is this a problem?
Ideally companies should already be registered.
I am a single founder. Do I need a co-founder?
There is a difference between a start-up with a single founder and a startup consisting of one individual. We have successfully invested in startups with single founders who at the time of our investment already had a team around them. As a rule of thumb however, we do not invest in single-person companies.
I have already raised some funding. Am I too far along for the program?
No. We have already invested in companies that have gone through Series A, B, and C rounds, had $1m+ of annual revenue run rate or had a staff of 50+. Ideally you are somewhere in between Series A and B. When in doubt, just contact us, and we will be happy to discuss this in detail.
Contact email: email@example.com
Is my age a factor in your selection process?
Not at all. Neither is your gender, race, religion or nationality or any other such characteristics.
The application process begins online with an application form in which you can tell us about your team, your product, and the market you are located in. The questions are geared towards understanding both the business and the founders. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews that can take place in person or remotely.
What are the attendance expectations?
It is mandatory for founders to attend sessions/meetings when asked, most of those will take place virtually. Further along in the pilot, it might be requested for founders to travel for onsite meetings.
Where is Xcel located?
The Xcel office is located on Komturstrasse 18a 12099 Berlin.
Our program mostly takes place online, and key milestones are communicated virtually. Bigger events will take place both online and offline.
Does my company have to be a German company (e.g. GmbH) to receive investment?
No. We routinely invest in companies incorporated in the US, UK, Europe, and Israel.
What investment do companies participating in the MXcel program receive?
The LOI must be signed by pre-selected companies prior to evaluation. Investment will only take place once and in the event of a pilot being completed.
Investment would take place on typical investor terms:
Same seniority and at same valuation as previous investors (exercise price = price per share of last round’s evaluation)
Pre-emptive and information right as per existing investors
Capital increases will dilute this position; minimal dilution of existing shareholders
Fixed price / Share’s allotment avoid unduly long due diligence and negotiation process due to pricing
Participants value creation comes only beyond value attributed to company with METRO partnership through access to its unparalleled and unique distribution channels
Anything else I need to know from a legal perspective?
Does METRO own the intellectual property (IP) developed by my company during the Xcel program?
No. It is your company. IP developed by a participating company will be retained by the company regardless the conditions.
Will the information in my application be treated confidentially?
In the application process, we ask applicants to describe their market opportunity, team, solution, and how they execute it. Please do not submit any business plans, trade secrets, or “secret sauce”. Your application must include only non-confidential information. All information disclosed to us in your application will be considered non-confidential public information.