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McDonald's deals prove nourishing for fast-growing Plexure

McDonald's deals prove nourishing for fast-growing Plexure

AI enabled fraud detection delivered for the fast food giant, but platform costs will rise in 2021

Craig Herbison (Plexure)

Craig Herbison (Plexure)

Credit: Supplied

NZX-listed mobile engagement software company Plexure Group is reporting a 50 per cent increase in revenue from customers in the year to 31 March.

Revenue from contracts with customers was $25.3 million, up $8.4 million from 2019.

Net profit reported was $1 million, up 243 per cent from a 2019 loss of $0.7 million.

Plexure had $14.2 million cash on hand at balance date after being cashflow positive from operating activities for the third successive year.

The result was achieved, in part, due to the deep global relationship Plexure has built with McDonald’s, now servicing 60 of its quick service restaurant markets worldwide.

 McDonald’s bought a 9.9 per cent stake in Plexure in April last year.

That relationship had continued to strengthen, the company reported today, and Plexure continued to broaden its scope of offering for the fast food giant, including AI enabled fraud detection.

Plexure also added 13 new markets and customers during the year. 

These included White Castle — a well-established US burger chain was signed in July 2019, confirming the attractiveness of the Company’s proposition for the quick service restaurant sector, and Super Indo — one of Indonesia’s leading supermarket chains.

“Super Indo is our first customer in the grocery sector and one we’re delighted to be collaborating with,” said Craig Herbison, Plexure CEO and director.

Expanding in to new categories is a pivotal part of Plexure’s three-horizon transformation strategy. 

“Indonesia is currently Asia’s largest and fastest growing digital economy. For Super Indo to recognise the relevance and value of integrating Plexure’s technology demonstrates that a highly personalised, mobile-centric customer engagement offering is perfect for this high-growth category.” 

Plexure now has a total of 139 staff with some in the US but the majority based at its Auckland headquarters.

Investment in Plexure’s core platform during the year had increased the company’s scalability and availability.

However, investment in 2021 is expected to have an impact on the company's results and to consume some part of available cash reserves.

The company’s technology platform, originally built on Microsoft Azure, was now one of New Zealand’s largest and busiest cloud-based technology platforms, with over 182.7 million end-users in 60 countries. 

It delivers approximately 5.6 million push messages per month in 78 different languages. API calls per month have now reached a 23.5 billion. 

"Our technology roadmap anticipates continuing strong usage growth and this will require ongoing investment in our platform to ensure that we can handle much higher transaction volumes, while also adding new products and services," Plexure's annual report said. 

"This platform investment will significantly reduce the 'cost to serve' for end-users in the future and is an essential element of our growth strategy as we build capability to support end-user numbers approaching 500
million."

To date the impact of COVID-19 had been minimal, Herbison said.

While increased sales and marketing activity in the US has boosted Plexure's sales pipeline significantly, the company expected that, in a COVID-19 world, near-term sales conversion may take longer.

"In the medium to longer term, Plexure will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever as existing and new customers increasingly embrace customer engagement strategies based on mobile technologies," chair Phil Norman said. 

Disclosure: Rob O'Neill owns a small parcel of Plexure shares.


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