McDonald’s to acquire AI-focused startup for over $300m

McDonald’s has announced its acquisition of Israeli start up Dynamic Yield, which specializes in machine learning and personalization capabilities. The fast-food chain plans to integrate Dynamic Yield’s technology into digital menus and self-serve kiosks in locations around the U.S, beginning this year. Eventually the digital upgrades will be rolled out to bigger international markets.

McDonald’s customers who interact with digital outdoor/indoor menus and kiosks with be given a personalized menu, based on time of day, weather, how busy the restaurant is, and popular menu items. Customers will also receive suggested menu items based off of the food already in their order.

“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.”

Dynamic Yield, which is based out of Tel Aviv and New York, will continue to operate as a standalone business, but will become solely owned by McDonalds. Although no official amount has been released by either business, The Wall Street Journal reported the acquisition will cost McDonald’s more than $300m.

Liad Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Dynamic Yield, 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.”