Yum! Brands announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire leading 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.

Founded in 2012 by Shilpi Sharma, CEO, 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,” says David Gibbs, CEO, 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,” adds 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.

“We’re passionate about developing cutting-edge technology solutions based on advanced econometrics, big data and machine learning techniques that enable our clients to understand consumer behavior and optimize every dollar they spend on marketing and promotions,” Singh says.

“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,” adds Sharma.

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 the first quarter of 2021, subject to standard closing conditions.

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