McDonald’s sells Dynamic Yield to Mastercard

In 2019, McDonald’s acquired experience and personalization platforms, and created McD Tech Labs. Now they’re flipping them.

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McDonald’s has sold its personalization platform and decision engine Dynamic Yield to Mastercard, following an announcement by both companies late last month. Dynamic Yield, which was purchased by the fast food chain in 2019, continues to support over 400 brands in retail, finance, and other industries, as well as at other restaurants.

McDonald’s purchased Dynamic Yield in 2019, and created a division committed to using technology to advance employee and customer-facing experience called McD Tech Labs, after it acquired conversational platform Apprente in the same year.

Last fall, McDonald’s announced the sale of McD Labs to IBM. In a company statement, McDonald’s said it will continue to expand and scale the use of Dynamic Yield’s technologies across digital and in-store channels at its restaurants.

Why we care. Yum Brands has also been a groundbreaker in terms of acquiring and developing its own AI and experience technology. (Does anybody remember Taco Bell’s “TacoBot” from way back in 2016?)

When a franchise or parent company is dealing with thousands upon thousands of individual store locations in many counties, it can make sense to in-house marketing services, including tech services. Even better, for the bottom line, is if you can continue to grow that investment in an SaaS platform and sell it to a giant like Mastercard. (Details of the sale weren’t disclosed, but McDonald’s original deal for Dynamic Yield in 2019 was valued at over $300 million.)

Time will tell if this latest move marks a return of restaurants to their core business, or if the selloff of McDonald’s tech holdings was more about securing a return on their financial investment. The long term success of any chain will be the investment it makes in customer success and experience, and maybe outsourcing those functions is what McDonald’s concluded would work best for them and their customers.


About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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