US fast food giant McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) has announced an agreement to acquire Israeli AI startup Dynamic Yield, which develops personalization and decision logic technology. No financial details were disclosed but the "Wall Street Journal" and "Techcrunch" both said that McDonald's is paying over $300 million, its largest acquisition in the past 20 years.
McDonald's said that it will utilize the Tel Aviv based company's decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. The decision technology, McDonald's added, can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer's order based on their current selections.
Dynamic Yield was founded in 2011 by CEO Liad Agmon and CTO Omri Mendellevich and raised $32 million last August, bringing the total funds raised to $83 million, according to Crunchbase. Investors include Bessamer Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Vertex, Marker LLC, ClalTech - Access Industries investment arm in Israeli technology, and others. The company has 200 employees, most of them in its Tel Aviv development center as well as development, sales and operations staff in its New York office.
Agmon said, "We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity. ?We're thrilled to be joining an iconic global brand such as McDonald's and are excited to innovate in ways that have a real impact on people's daily lives."
McDonald's said that Dynamic Yield would remain an independent company and that it would continue to invest in it.
"Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms," said Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald's Corporation. "With this acquisition, we're expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers."
McDonald's was represented by Baker & McKenzie and by Advs. Cliff Felig, Keren Sadeh and Daniel Colthof of Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal law firm.
Dynamic Yield was represented by Advs. Yair Geva and Adina Shapiro from Herzog Fox & Neeman (HFN).
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 26, 2019
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