Start-up Mr Yum bites off first major acquisition as international expansion plans proceed

“They have done a really amazing job of creating a world-class solution to help restaurants, bars and pubs market to their customers and get them coming back, even on typically quieter days,” Ms Teo said.

“We’ve known them for a long time just through having to work together on similar customers … We could have gone out and built something like this of our own, but we scoped it out to be 18 months work to get to where they’ve got, but it’s also opportunity cost of what we couldn’t do in the meantime.”

By combining the two companies Ms Teo said it would be able to start offering the opportunity for venues to use the information they have about customers – such as if they like fresh wines – and send individual promotions to them offering good deals on days the restaurant is typically quiet.

This would be automated, meaning restaurants of all sizes could operate more intelligently without having to employ marketing specialists.

Mr Yum was advised on the deal by Herbert Smith Freehills, which has also worked on its capital raisings, and Ms Teo said she was also able to reach out through Skip Capital and get invaluable advice from Atlassian’s mergers and acquisition team about how to avoid pitfalls in the process.

“This is not a one-off, I think it’s pretty clear that acquisitions are a strategic and proven way to grow … We get companies reaching out to us about acquisition opportunities pretty much every week at the moment,” she said.

“[Atlassian’s M&A team] taught us what they do and don’t do, how they run the process, and then how they manage the acquisition in the first three months and then after six months.

“The great thing in the local start-up community is that it is small enough that people are willing to share like that, and they just shared with us all of the learning that has taken them years to acquire.”

Ms Teo said Mr Yum’s international expansion plans were proceeding well, with the opening of international borders helping to speed up progress. She will be heading off to spend time in the US and then London next week, and said the fact Mr Yum has four co-founders enables her to be away regularly.

While she still calls Melbourne home, she will be spending extended periods building up its overseas operations.

“We find it really effective spending weeks at a time in different regions and then coming back around quite regularly,” Ms Teo said.

“We want to make sure that, not just the processes and the systems, but also the culture permeates through the other markets, so that even though it may be far away on the other side of the world, we’ve got a consistent feel about the team.

“We think that is something that will be a competitive advantage.”

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