McDonald’s buys 9.9% stake in New Zealand app developer Plexure

People walk past the entrance to a McDonald's restaurant in Shanghai, China, July 30, 2015. BRANDS/MCDONALDS REUTERS/Aly Song

Quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain McDonald’s has acquired a 9.9 per cent stake in Plexure, a New Zealand-based mobile engagement software, it said in a statement.

The US fast food giant said it is purchasing close to 13.8 million shares in Plexure at an issue price of NZ$0.3905, at a 15 per cent premium. This implies a price tag of nearly NZ$5.4 million, or $3.6 million.

Plexure is an existing vendor for McDonald’s, powering a version of its global mobile app in 48 countries outside the US.

“Across all of our markets, we’re using technology to elevate and transform the McDonald’s customer experience,” said McDonald’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook.“Our mobile apps play a key role in our digital acceleration, allowing customers to interact with us on their terms in a personal, customized way.”

Added Craig Herbison, Chief Executive Officer, Plexure: “This investment will further our efforts to reach more people with our technology…..and execute our growth plans for our company.”

The transaction marks McDonald’s first-ever investment in a mobile app vendor as it looks to build on its tech-heavy strategy with digital investments. However, it’s the second deal to be clinched in the technology space in less than a month since McDonald’s acquired personalized data startup Dynamic Yield in March 2019 in a deal estimated to be worth around $300 million.

The capital infused in Plexure will help facilitate its growth plans while giving McDonald’s the access to its technology in the QSR space, including access to greater back-end and front-end features, customer functionality and customer targeting, among others.

Plexure’s technology platform focuses on areas such as mobile ordering and payment, next-generation loyalty programmes, personalised offers, analytics and seamless operations integration.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.