US fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. announced today an agreement to acquire Apprente, an early stage voice-based AI, conversational technology startup. Based in Mountain View, California, Apprente was founded in 2017 by two Israelis - CEO Itamar Arel and CTO Moshe Looks. One of the main investors in Apprente is Israeli's venture capital fund StageOne Ventures. No financial details were disclosed and Apprente has raised less than $5 million.
McDonald's says that Apprente's technology has been evaluated in its restaurants, and it will allow for faster, simpler and more accurate order taking at the Drive Thru with future potential to incorporate into mobile ordering and kiosks.
McDonald's president and CEO Steve Easterbrook said, "Building our technology infrastructure and digital capabilities are fundamental to our Velocity Growth Plan and enable us to meet rising expectations from our customers, while making it simpler and even more enjoyable for crew members to serve guests. Apprente's gifted team, and the technology they have developed, will form McD Tech Labs, a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further."
Arel, who has been appointed VP McD Tech Labs said, "McDonald's commitment to innovation has long inspired our team. It was quite clear from our various engagements that McDonald's is leading the industry with technology. Apprente was borne out of an opportunity to use technology to solve challenging real world problems and we're thrilled to now apply this to creating personalized experiences for customers and crew."
In April, McDonald's acquired Israeli startup Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology, which is now deployed in over 8,000 restaurants in the US.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 10, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019