McDonald’s swallows up Israeli artificial intelligence startup Dynamic Yield for $300m


The fast-food giant will use the company to develop personalised menus for customers

The acquisition is the largest by McDonald's in two decadesThe acquisition is the largest by McDonald’s in two decades (Photo: Getty Images) 

McDonald’s has bought Israeli artificial intelligence (AI) startup Dynamic Yield in a deal that could pave the wave for more personalised menus.

The US media reported that at $300 million (£227 million), this was the fast food giant’s largest acquisition for more than 20 years.

Tel Aviv-based Dynamic Yield has developed AI software that will help the global hamburger chain offer more personalised menus for outdoor digital display.

It will also allow restaurants to show food based on time of day, weather, current customer traffic and trending menu items.

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McDonald’s says it will keep Dynamic Yield as an independent Israel-based company and expand its staff of 200.

“When you serve 68 million customers every single day, our ability to learn of their behaviours and play that back through this technology is unbeatable,” McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook said.

The Israeli company has raised $83 million from venture capital funds since it was founded by Liad Agmon and Omri Mendellevich.

Mr 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.”

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The acquisition is the latest example of the way Israeli technological innovation has attracted global companies from virtually every industry, not only IT and medical technology companies. Breweries, bookmakers, insurance companies and banks, as well as carmakers and heavy industry, have all invested in and acquired Israeli companies and set up Tel Aviv development centres.

The McDonald’s move comes after US tech giant Nvidia bought Israeli big data connectivity chipmaker Mellanox Technologies earlier this month for $6.9 billion — the second largest ever acquisition of an Israeli high-tech company.

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