Global fast food giant McDonald’s Corporation has invested $5.4 million in New Zealand listed and founded mobile engagement company Plexure.
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 US, including Italy and Japan.
The investment is being facilitated through the issue of new equity in Plexure.
McDonald’s will purchase 13,795,311 shares of Plexure at NZ$0.3905, representing a 15 per cent 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 per cent minority stake, of which funds will be used for Plexure’s growth and expansion purposes.
The transaction is McDonald’s first-ever investment in a mobile app vendor and follows its recent announcement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a decision-engine and personalisation company based in 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 quick service restaurant (QSR) space, including 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,” said 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, customised 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."
Meanwhile, Craig Herbison, chief executive officer of Plexure, said the deal was a "tremendous vote of confidence" from Plexure's 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," he added.
Read more: Plexure posts maiden profit, eyes US market
Disclosure: Rob O'Neill owns a small parcel of Plexure shares.