McDonald’s to acquire Israeli customer-service tech startup Apprente

September 12, 2019 by JNS
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McDonald’s has signed a deal to acquire the Israeli-founded customer service automation startup Apprente Inc.

A McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in Orlando, Fla. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

As part of the deal, Apprente’s team will form a new internal group within the fast-food chain’s technology team, called McD Tech Labs. The Silicon Valley-based startup, founded in 2017 by Israeli entrepreneurs Itamar Arel and Moshe Looks, develops AI and voice-based conversational technology for use in loud environments, such as drive-thru restaurants.

“Apprente’s technology will allow for faster, simpler and more accurate ordering at the Drive Thru,” McDonald’s said on its website. “We are committed to developing high-quality, positive and personalized experiences to meet rising expectations—both for customers and restaurant employees.”

“The initial focus of the Silicon Valley team will be to enhance technology for use in McDonald’s Drive Thru. However, we believe that the broader voice-based technology also has the potential to reach customers when, where and how they want through incorporation into mobile ordering or kiosks,” continued McDonald’s. “With this move, we’re investing in the talent and technology that will ultimately make our customer and restaurant employee experience better.

This is McDonald’s second acquisition of an Israeli company this year. In March, it acquired Israel-based web personalization company Dynamic Yield Ltd. for an estimated $300 million.


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