About us

What is METRO Cash & Carry?

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.


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.

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.

My company isn’t incorporated yet. Is this a problem?

Ideally companies should already be registered.

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.

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.

What is the difference between METRO Xcel compared to METRO Accelerator?

METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was founded in 2015, we have delivered 7 programmes; 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 METRO Xcel; it focusses on business development expertise and sales opportunities.

In shifting our target group to later stage start-ups we believe that we are able to create mutual benefits, and strong synergies between participating companies, METRO and its customers.

Participants have access to executive METRO staff, as well as METRO sales channels – all this, paired with masterclasses focussing on everything from sales; to HR; to finance & more sets each individual company up to successfully fulfil any business goals they may have, specifically; take on 100s of leads at a time, enter a new market, or even branch into the hospitality industry.

Application Process

How does the application process work?

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.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

No, just complete the online application.

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.


Where is METRO Xcel located?

The METRO Xcel office is located in the heart of Berlin. We provide all necessary office equipment and infrastructure.

Acknowledging that later stage founders are very busy, they are only required to be onsite in Berlin for two intermittent weeks during which we will provide them with all the necessary tools to achieve their business goals.

The rest of the program will be geared toward lead generation, virtual communication on key milestones, and at sales conventions.

What are the attendance expectations?

It is mandatory that the founders stay onsite for the duration of the 2 intermittent weeks. We have extensive experience in helping founders with children / family and founders who manage larger companies to navigate this time successfully.  We are happy to discuss this in detail with you.


What investment do companies participating in the METRO Xcel program receive?

The LOI must be signed by pre-selected companies prior to evaluation in Berlin November 2019.

Satisfactory commercial and legal due diligence & warrant agreement must be signed prior to the official program start in January 2020.

The warrant agreement consists of 100k EUR funding, exercisable within 24 months of program start, 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

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.


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 plan to 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.

Does METRO own the intellectual property (IP) developed by my company during the METRO Xcel program?

No. It is your company. IP developed by a participating company will be retained by the company regardless the conditions.

Anything else I need to know from a legal perspective?

Your application for METRO Xcel does not result in a contract or other relationship between us, other than your agreement to this site’s Terms of Use. You will not receive any compensation for your application.