Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the leading artificial intelligence-based consumer insights and marketing performance analytics business of Kvantum, Inc. By acquiring the Kvantum business, Yum! and its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill brands enhance their ability to apply powerful consumer insights and data analytics to drive calendar and marketing spend optimization.
Founded in 2012 by Shilpi Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, and Harpreet Singh, Chief Technology Officer, Kvantum develops and deploys algorithms and artificial intelligence models to help brands understand consumer behavior and make informed media and calendar decisions. The acquired Kvantum business combines machine learning and econometric modeling into its Marketing Performance Analytics Platform in a seamless manner. Kvantum’s proprietary technology can measure the effects of marketing tactics in a designated geography across owned, paid and earned channels. Kvantum uses the latest modern marketing principles to tailor its services and technologies to support Yum!’s brands in several international markets.
“Technology strategies that elevate the customer and employee experience and lead to smart, data-driven marketing decisions are critical to keeping our brands R.E.D. (relevant, easy to access and distinctive) and delivering growth for our franchisees and shareholders,” said David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands. “We’re excited about the opportunity this acquisition presents, and the potential to scale Kvantum’s proven technologies across our system to strengthen our data and advanced analytics capabilities and elevate our world-class marketing competencies globally.”
“Kvantum is an innovator in data analytics and marketing optimization and has a proven track record of delivering significant value to several of our international markets by enabling data-driven marketing decisions to increase sales and better leverage media budgets,” said Clay Johnson, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Yum! Brands. “Kvantum’s technology and the U.S. based leadership capability it brings will be a fantastic addition to the Yum! family, allowing us to apply a disciplined marketing sciences program at scale and fast-track our data and analytics strategy.”
Yum! Brands’ global technology strategy, in partnership with the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill divisions, is focused on providing a best-in-class digital journey across mobile, online, delivery and restaurant operations. The Company continues to accelerate its digital commerce strategy through data and advanced analytics, and innovative emerging technologies to elevate the customer and employee experience, strengthen restaurant unit economics and unlock new sources of global growth.
Yum! Brands plans to combine Kvantum’s artificial intelligence and machine learning approach to understanding human behavior with the unique skillsets of the anthropologists and sociologists at Collider Lab, a culture-based consumer insights and marketing strategy consultancy Yum! acquired in 2015. Yum! Brands believes that Kvantum’s and Collider Lab’s combined methodologies will yield even deeper consumer and brand insights and help advance the Company’s R.E.D. Marketing strategies around the world.
“We’re passionate about developing cutting-edge technology solutions based on advanced econometrics, big data and machine learning techniques that enable our clients to understand consumer behavior and optimize every dollar they spend on marketing and promotions,” said Singh.
“We’ve been fortunate to work with many leading companies over the years, including Yum! Brands, to help them make data-driven marketing decisions to increase sales. We’re proud that our work has made Kvantum an attractive candidate for a transaction of this kind, and we’re thrilled to join an iconic global company like Yum! Brands,” said Sharma.
The Kvantum business unit, as part of Yum! Brands, will continue to offer their consultancy services to external clients outside of the restaurant industry.
Yum! Brands’ acquisition of the Kvantum business is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021, subject to standard closing conditions.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, making it a leader in global retail development primarily operating the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. In 2020, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this communication contain “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions or projections concerning future results or events, including, without limitation, the projected closing date for the transaction, the anticipated benefits of the transaction, and the future earnings and performance of Yum! Brands or any of its businesses. Forward-looking statements are neither predictions nor guarantees of future events, circumstances or performance and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by those statements. We cannot assure you that any of the expectations, estimates or projections expressed herein will be achieved. Numerous factors related to the transaction could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: the risk that the proposed transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the purchase agreement between the parties; the effect of the announcement or pendency of the proposed transaction on Yum!’s and Kvantum’s business relationships, operating results and business generally; the risk that the proposed transaction may disrupt current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction; the ability to achieve the synergies and value creation contemplated; Yum!’s ability to promptly and effectively integrate Kvantum’s business; the risk that operating costs and business disruption (including, without limitation, difficulties in maintaining relationships with employees and other third parties) may be greater than expected; the assumption of unexpected risks and liabilities; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted related to the proposed transaction; and the other factors discussed in “Risk Factors” in Yum!’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and subsequent filings with the SEC made by Yum! which are available at http://www.sec.gov. Yum! assumes no obligation to update the information in the communication, except as otherwise required by law. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.