Technology platform Olo announced Thursday that it will be acquiring software solution company, Wisely, for $187 million. The transaction, which is expected to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2021, will be Olo’s first acquisition since going public in March.
Wisely is a customer intelligence platform that specializes in personalizing the restaurant guest experience through consumer data – a crucial tool for operators, especially in the post-pandemic era.
Wisely offers several key capabilities that Olo CEO Noah Glass said will be available to Olo customers once the acquisition goes through: front of house tool, Host, which serves as a “mission control for the host stand;” marketing and CRM capabilities like email and test message-based communications; a customer sentiment feature that lets operators see guest feedback from internal and external sources like Google and Yelp; and a consumer data platform, which lets operators pull all of these elements together and create customer profiles.
“Restaurants are building up their direct relationship with customers and making sure that they're not just saying, ‘Hey, we're going digital,’” Glass told Nation’s Restaurant News in an exclusive interview. “[…] The true north metric for the digital transformation of brands is direct digital sales, and the ability to build up their direct digital relationship with the customer.”
With the acquisition, Wisely’s platform will allow Olo operators to create unified guest profiles and have all these digital capabilities streamlined in one place.
“It’s important to understand how a guest uses the brand across channels and enables the brand to speak to their customer as a whole person,” Glass said.
This is the first post-IPO acquisition for Olo and while it might not be the last, Glass said that they don’t have anything planned. But don’t rule out more M&A activity from Olo to come:
“The IPO process gave us the optionality of additional capital on our balance sheet and another currency that we can use to do acquisitions,” Glass said. “We didn’t feel like we had those assets as a private company, it opens up those options.”
Of course, Olo is not the first major restaurant technology company to announce an acquisition of another platform. Restaurant365, Toast, SpotOn, and Reef all announced technology solutions company acquisitions over the past several months. This burst of tech M&A activity is likely to continue as restaurants continue to go digitally native.
“Restaurants are a little bit later than other industries to embrace technology,” Glass said. “And now they have this $800 billion industry that tech can be a huge part of.”
Olo is set to acquire Wisely in the fourth quarter of 2021, for $77 million in cash and $110 million in Olo’s Class A common stock. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
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