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Yum Brands agrees to acquire AI marketing analytics business of Kvantum

Parent of Taco Bell to combine methodologies of Kvantum with that of previously-acquired Collider Lab

Yum Brands, the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill, agreed to acquire the artificial intelligence (AI) business of Kvantum, Inc. As an AI-based consumer insights and marketing performance measurement business, Kvantum’s AI will help Yum Brands better deploy powerful consumer insights and data analytics to optimize calendar and marketing spend.

“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 of Yum Brands.

Advantages of Kvantum unit acquisition

Kvantum develops and deploys algorithms and artificial intelligence models to help brands understand consumer behavior and implement informed media and calendar decisions. Founded in 2012 by Shilpi Sharma, chief executive of the firm, and Harpreet Singh, chief technology officer, Kvantum uses the latest marketing principles to support Yum Brands’ growing international business.

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The machine learning and econometric modeling of Kvantum’s Marketing Performance Analytics Platform is second to none, and its proprietary technology can measure the impact of geography-based marketing activations seamlessly. This spans owned, paid and earned channels.

Yum’s interests in the technology has propelled ongoing acceleration of its digital commerce strategy through data and advanced analytics. According to an announcement, these “technologies elevate the customer and employee experience, strengthen restaurant unit economics and unlock new sources of global growth.”

Next steps for Kvantum’s AI business unit

Post-acquisition, the parent of KFC will use the AI firm with the help of anthropologists and sociologists at Collider Lab, a culture-based consultancy focusing on consumer insights and marketing strategy, which Yum Brands acquired in 2015. The Louisville, Ky.-based restaurant company is betting big on the combined potential of Kvantum’s and Collider Lab’s combined methodologies, which should deliver more powerful AI-driven insights to advance Yum’s R.E.D. marketing strategies globally.

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“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,” said Clay Johnson, chief digital and technology officer at Yum Brands.

The Kvantum business unit will continue to offer its consultancy services to non-Yum and non-restaurant external clients. Yum Brands expects to close the acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, in the first quarter of 2021.

Added Sharma, “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.”

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