Starbucks Enters Deal With Tech Company Brightloom

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

Starbucks Coffee Company has forged a deal with San Francisco and Seattle tech company Brightloom, formerly known as eatsa, granting Brightloom a software license to select components of Starbucks’ proprietary mobile ordering and loyalty program software.

Starbucks will also take an equity stake in Brightloom and receive a seat on the company’s board of directors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Brightloom will combine its existing technology assets with the software licensed from Starbucks, leading to the development of a cloud-based software solution for the restaurant industry that will connect customers to their favorite restaurant brands.

Out of Starbucks’ 80 global markets, less than half have the Starbucks mobile app, and only eight have mobile order and pay, CNBC notes. In the U.S., roughly 40% of transactions come from Starbucks’ mobile app-based loyalty program.

Brightloom will work with global Starbucks license partners to deploy the platform around the world and will open this platform up to the entire restaurant industry of merchants. Starbucks will continue to drive software development for all its company operated markets.

“We’re delighted to partner with Brightloom and drive a broad innovation agenda that extends relevant customer experiences from brick-and-mortar to a digital-mobile customer connection,” said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks. “At Starbucks, we have experienced first-hand the power that comes through digital customer connections that are relevant to the customer. The results we’ve seen in customer loyalty and frequency within our digital ecosystem speak for themselves, and we’re excited to apply these innovations toward an industry solution that elevates the customer experience across the restaurant industry.”

Brightloom also announced a $30M funding round led by Tao Capital Partners and Valor Equity Partners along with Starbucks licensees, including Alshaya Group and Alsea. The tech company will use the funds for technology development, including integrating Starbucks’ software into what will become a comprehensive technology suite. It is expected to unveil its next generation Brightloom Platform at its upcoming Roadmap Reveal Day in October.

“The fact that we will now be combining our platform with the leading digital flywheel software in the world, Starbucks, perfectly positions us to offer the best-in-class solution to the industry,” said Adam Brotman, Brightloom CEO, who joined in April. “We believe any restaurant brand should be able to engage customers digitally using a seamless combination of mobile, omnichannel ordering and loyalty offerings.”

Starbucks pioneered the digital flywheel approach, which is now regarded as the gold standard in digital strategy for food service and restaurant brands. With key Starbucks technology components integrated into the platform, Brightloom will offer this digital strategy to the broader industry and serve as a one-stop-shop for restaurant brands.

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