Yum! Brands announced Wednesday that it has acquired Tictuk Technologies, a leading Israeli omnichannel ordering and marketing platform company. The addition of Tictuk to Yum!'s technology portfolio will give the Company the ability to offer more ways for consumers globally to access and order its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill brands through some of the world’s most popular social media and conversational platforms. Today’s announcement marks Yum! Brands’ second technology investment this month to continue accelerating its digital innovation strategy.
Founded in 2016, Tictuk is a privately held company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, that specializes in conversational commerce, a technology solution that allows users to complete orders and interact with brands through a variety of social media and chat channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS, QR codes, and email.
Tictuk’s online ordering and marketing platform also leverages a hybrid of chat, web, advertisements, and intelligent marketing technology to engage with consumers. The technology seamlessly integrates with POS and existing payment systems and works for all types of customer engagement including delivery, curbside pick-up, and in-restaurant dining.
“As we navigate a consumer landscape reshaped by the events of 2020, we continue to intensify our focus on leveraging our scale and reinforcing our growth model with investments in digital and technologies to enhance the customer and employee experience, strengthen restaurant unit economics and enable our brands and franchisees to compete and win in a rapidly changing world,” says Yum! CEO David Gibbs.
In 2020, Yum!'s digital sales hit a record $17 billion, or about a 45 percent increase over the prior year. Yum!'s 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 unlock new sources of global growth.
“The right technologies will allow us to better serve customers with the best offer and delicious food in a way that’s most convenient for them,” says Yum! CFO Chris Turner. “We’re excited about the opportunity Tictuk presents, as their solution delivers high impact by enabling our brands to achieve a truly omnichannel presence and provide frictionless ordering for customers in just a few clicks.”
Yum! has successfully deployed Tictuk’s platform in approximately 900 KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell restaurants in 35 countries outside of the U.S. The Company plans to scale and offer Tictuk’s omnichannel ordering and marketing capabilities to more markets and franchisees globally to deliver more ways for consumers to access its brands through social media and other conversational commerce channels.
“Tictuk has a proven track record of driving increased conversion, loyalty and sales by making it even easier for customers to order our brands through their preferred social media or conversational channel,” says Clay Johnson, Yum!'s chief digital and technology officer. “With Tictuk, we’re able to offer our franchisees around the world an incredibly effective omnichannel ordering system that can be customized to every market’s needs and implemented within just a few days. We’re thrilled to have Tictuk join the growing Yum! technology portfolio, allowing us to offer more frictionless ordering experiences for our customers.”
“Omnichannel ordering creates new opportunities for relevant and intimate engagement with customers and gives brands the ability to reach a wider audience. By developing an ecosystem that synergizes ordering technology with performance marketing and analytics, we are empowering brands to better serve customers and increase sales,” says Tomer Ben-Ezra, founder and CEO of Tictuk. “We’re delighted to expand our relationship with Yum! Brands and join its family of global category-leading brands.”
The Tictuk business unit, as part of Yum!, will continue to offer its platform to existing clients. With today’s announcement, Yum! acquisition of Tictuk is complete.
The addition of Tictuk to the Yum! portfolio builds on the company’s recent technology investments. Earlier this month, Yum! announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Kvantum business, an artificial intelligence-based consumer insights and marketing performance analytics company. Kvantum’s proprietary technology, combining machine learning and econometric modeling into its Marketing Performance Analytics Platform in a seamless manner, can measure the effects of marketing tactics in a designated geography across owned, paid and earned channels.
Yum! has been working with Kvantum in several international markets and plans to leverage its services globally to enhance the company’s ability to apply powerful consumer insights and data analytics to enable data-driven marketing decisions to increase sales and better leverage media budgets. Yum!'s acquisition of the Kvantum business is expected to close by the end of the first quarter, subject to standard closing conditions.
Yum! estimates that both of these all-cash acquisitions will have an immaterial impact to its 2021 financial results, and should accelerate the Company’s ability to grow digital sales as they are deployed over time in markets around the world.