Yum! Brands to Buy AI-Based Consumer Insights Firm

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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By acquiring the Kvantum biz, Yum! enhances its ability to apply consumer insights and data analytics to drive marketing spend optimization.

Yum! Brands, Inc. has struck a deal to buy the 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.

Designed to Make Informed Decisions

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.

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 Q1 2021, subject to standard closing conditions.