On the 8th of August, the METRO Target Retail Accelerator certified by Techstars’ Demo Day took place; Two corporates, METRO & Target partnered up to deliver a program to eight startups in B2B and B2C markets, across continents over three months.
METRO AG’s CEO, Olaf Koch states;
“The choice to engage with not just early stage startups, but also later stage startups has given us great insights to innovation and value creation in the retail & wholesale industries, for that we are very grateful”
These startups participated in the first METRO Target Retail Accelerator certified by Techstars, and presented on stage at Demo Day in Minneapolis as follows;
Sezzle – Within the three months of the program Sezzle went public in Australia, which speaks to the high caliber of startups participating in our programs.
Sezzle’s mission is to “financially empower the next generation” by providing a solution that accepts payment in separate instalments without interest. On the flip side their solution increases the number of sales for businesses, by offering consumers a valuable payment option.
“The accelerator program was very beneficial on a multitude of levels” – Charlie Youakim, Sezzle
Next up, UntieNots started their pitch with;
“My founder and I have accumulated 30 years of retail experience. In 2017 google noticed UntieNots.” – Cederic Chereaux, Founder, UntieNots
UntieNots’ solution “Loyalty Challenge” provides retailers with an AI powered gamified loyalty solution which analyses marketing actions. It individualizes promotions so that businesses don’t offer a customer 30% discount when 20% would have been enough. A mentor from Target described it as
“Doing personalisation for incrementality”
Highly relevant to companies like Target & METRO are fresh foods. On that note, Afresh technologies introduced its solution;
“Fresh food is growing faster than any other item, it presents an opportunity for brick & mortar retailers to compete with an online grocer. In addition, our tool helps prevent food waste and stockouts”
– Matthew Schwartz, Afresh Technologies
Food waste is becoming harder for F&B businesses to ignore, in fact food waste amounts to about $680 billion per year in industrialised countries.
“During the program Afresh had 100+ expert conversations and 4 store shadows, with support from the program we are internationalizing our product to Europe as early as 2020” -Matthew Schwartz, Afresh technologies
Cb4 analytics highlights just how important it is to know which products are selling, which aren’t, which products sell well together, and what to do about it.
“When people go into a store and can’t find what they are looking for, that leads to millions of lost sales, that’s why we built Cb4” – Kip Wagner, Cb4 analytics
Retailers successfully use Cb4 Analytics to create better efficiencies in business operations.
Cb4 uses patented AI technology identifying selling patterns, and were funded by Sequoia capital in both their Series A and B rounds.
“Thanks to this program we were able to meet dozens of executives in METRO and Target.”
-Kip Wagner, Cb4 Analytics
IDEE took the stage next;
“IDEE has created a reusable digital identity for businesses. Our SDK scores are higher even when compared with Microsoft or google.” – Al & Daniel, IDEE
“…The greatest benefit of the program is that, within the shortest amount of time we met with numerous decision makers and now understand their current challenges, …IDEE’s digital identity perfectly supports METRO’s efforts to provide a secure and smooth user experience across all business units. Therefore, we are all the more looking forward to our pilot.” – Al Lakhani, Founder, IDEE
Nadiya Masiri, founder of Perksy told us about her solution
“Get instant feedback from a wider audience in real time” Their DIY consumer’s insight platform powers real-time research with everyday people through its immersive mobile app that rewards them for their responses. Nadiya was also listed in Forbes’ 2019 30 under 30.
Thanks to Perksy, METRO was already able to conduct a survey on customer behaviour in the areas of reservations and food orders within just a few days. The results impact the product offering of Hospitality.digital, a subsidiary of METRO which develops digital solutions for food service professionals. Perksy might also be considered for further collaboration in the context of market research in the future.
Addressing the future of the environment in a very disruptive way; Einride, who started their pitch with;
“7% of all C02 emissions are produced by road freight.” They continue by telling us that “there is already a shortage of 60 000 truck drivers in the US alone”;
“Einride provides hardware and software necessary for autonomous road freight. We are revolutionizing road freight.”
Thanks to Einride businesses are able to save 60% in cost. To validate the importance of their solution they state “We have raised 10 million dollars since foundation.”- Johannes Schygge
So far, both METRO and Target have been able to provide Einride with data points necessary to identify use cases that would allow both companies to take a glance into the future of road freight.
Introducing LISNR, we were proud to hear;
“…Fortunately the METRO Target Retail accelerator put me in touch with LISNR again, where I found out one detail that changed everything” – Joerg Decker, METRONOM
“What if there were one solution that connected all touch points in the customer journey without needing to use any beacons? LISNR uses sound to connect with customers along their entire journey.”
That means that any device with a speaker and microphone, with the LISNR technology can send and receive data. Opportunities with this technology are limitless.” – Chris Ostoich, LISNR
As a result of the program, LISNR are testing their solution in METRO C&C in Berlin-Friedrichshain; For three months, METRO will use ultrasound waves to connect with customers’ smartphones and their METRO app to analyse where customers are in the store and how long they need to wait in the checkout area. This information is extremely valuable in order to provide a more individualised shopping experience to customers in the future.
Although we have come to the end of the program, we are excited to follow our startups into the next chapter; some of them closer to home, some of them across the continent. No matter where, we will continue our relationship and find new synergies where we can collaborate.
Jason Breen, Senior Director, Enterprise Accelerators at Target correctly stated:
“It’s less about the end of a program but more about the continuation of moments along each and every startups’ journey”
With that we conclude this chapter of the METRO Target Retail Accelerator, with the confidence that we will be seeing more from our startups across the board as they continue to succeed and champion solutions that are shaping the retail industry.
#staytuned #retailtech #metrotarget #greatmindstogether