A solid mobile strategy is more important than ever before. Neither the marketing nor customer experience aspects of mobile engagement can be neglected should a brand want to compete in today’s market. McDonald’s has stepped up to this challenge by investing in Plexure, a company that specializes in mobile engagement software.
 
Plexure has played an important role in McDonald’s focus on digital transformation, powering a version of McDonald’s Global Mobile App in 48 countries outside the United States and other markets, including Italy and Japan. The transaction marks McDonald’s first-ever investment in a mobile app vendor and follows its recent announcement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a decision-engine and personalization company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and New York.
 
Funds from the investment will further Plexure’s growth plans while giving McDonald’s enhanced access to Plexure’s technology in the QSR space. This includes access to greater back-end and front-end features, customer functionality, and customer targeting, among others.
 
The investment coincides with an amendment to the existing software service agreement between the two companies, which will extend McDonald’s usage of Plexure’s technology and set new specifications for service levels and pricing. As part of this agreement, Plexure will not provide similar services to a defined list of competitors in the QSR space, based on certain terms and conditions. 
 
“Across all of our markets, we’re using technology to elevate and transform the McDonald’s customer experience,” says Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s. “Our mobile apps play a key role in our digital acceleration, allowing customers to interact with us on their terms in a personal, customized way. This investment is a testament to our belief in Plexure’s ability to deliver strong results for our business as well as the talent and technology they’ve cultivated.”
 
Craig Herbison, Chief Executive Officer of Plexure, adds “This is a tremendous vote of confidence from our largest customer. This investment will further our efforts to reach more people with our technology, provide world-class service to our clients, and execute our growth plans for our company.”
 
The investment is being facilitated through the issuance of new equity in Plexure. Under the terms of the subscription agreement, McDonald’s, through an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, will purchase 13,795,311 shares of Plexure. These shares will be purchased through a cash transaction at an issue price of NZ$0.3905, representing a 15 percent premium over the volume-weighted average price of Plexure shares during March 2019. The cash investment from McDonald’s will result in a 9.9 percent minority stake, of which funds will be used for Plexure’s growth and expansion purposes.
 
It’s fascinating to see that investment in a third party is the route McDonald’s has taken. It will be exciting to see what consumer-facing mobile experiences and other changes come from this.
 

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