McDonald's, the fast-food giant, has made an acquisition that could greatly influence digital signage and restaurant apps for years to come. The buyout involves Dynamic Yield, a technology company that leverages big data analytics to customize drive thru signage in real-time.
McDonald's did not disclose the deal's value, but Bloomberg says the price tag was about $300 million.
Dynamic Yield, based in New York City, works with brands in travel, finance, media, and e-commerce to create personalized experiences. McDonald’s says it will use the company’s technology to create a more personalized customer drive thru experience. Outdoor displays can change based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items. The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer's order based on their current selections.
McDonald’s plans to deploy Dynamic Yield's technology at U.S. restaurant drive thrus in 2019 before expanding to international markets. The technology will also surface within McDonald’s restaurants (via self-service kiosks) and in the company's mobile App.
McDonald's Acquires Dynamic Yield: Executive Perspectives
Describing the deal, McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said:
"Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms. 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."
Liad Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Dynamic Yield, added:
"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."
Upon the deal’s closing, McDonald’s will become the sole owner of Dynamic Yield. The company says it will continue to invest in Dynamic Yield’s core personalization product and employees.
With its 180 employees across six locations, Dynamic Yield will continue to operate as a stand-alone company and employees will continue operating out of offices around the world, including New York and Tel Aviv. We'll be watching to see if third parties continue to leverage Dynamic Yield, or if the technology becomes McDonald's-centric.
Digital Signage’s Continued Growth
VARs and MSPs that install or manage digital signs will likely be watching this deal closely.
Digital signs are typically linked to CMS (content management systems) that serve up advertising, marketing, and other sales applications. The overall market is expected to grow from US$20.8 billion currently to $29.6 billion by 2024, according to one report.