On 26th September 2022, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States (market cap of ca $65 billion), agreed to acquire the technology company, Linga.
Tech – Linga: Linga is a cloud-based system featuring delivery dispatch, table management, modifiers, barcode scanner, data dashboards, inventory controls, sales reports, and other related features. The company was the first processor agnostic, cloud-based point of sales (POS) system designed specifically for the hospitality industry and remains one of the most sophisticated restaurant operating systems on the market. The company’s platform is completely customisable and includes user-friendly functionalities such as online ordering, payments, QR code-based menus and virtual kiosks, among others.
Non-Tech – PNC: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organised around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialised services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.
On 26 September 2022, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Linga for an undisclosed amount.
Like most other techquisition deals, the market reacted favourably to the techquisition announcement given the positive outlook associated with the strategic potential of the investment and how it fits with PNC’s business strategy.
PNC’s share price increased by approximately 3.4% from September 26 to October 3 – vs. an increase of 0.6% in S&P 500 – implying an addition to PNC’s market cap of a net ca. $1.7 billion, which was highly likely to have been greater than the acquisition consideration, given Linga’s small size (eg ca 100 employees).
This signals a potential very high ROI for PNC on the techquisition, assuming it can execute on the plan.
Founded in 2004, Linga developed its restaurant operating system, Linga rOS®, which was the first all-in-one, cloud-based operating system introduced to the marketplace.
The company remains an industry-leading provider across the hospitality industry, offering restaurateurs, retailers, and others a way to leverage technology to streamline their operations, increase revenue and improve customer experiences.
Over the years, the company has added new functionalities to its operating system, including online ordering, payments, QR code-based menus, and virtual kiosks, among others. The company currently serves clients in 48 countries and as of today.
The techquisition reflects PNC’s willingness and ability to adapt to technological shifts to serve better consumer needs.
"We believe this is an exciting opportunity to continue to grow our business and support our existing channel partners and clients, and to do so with a company that shares our vision of delivering innovative and high-quality solutions "
- Onur Haytac, Founder and CEO of Linga
The deal rationale revolves around PNC’s goal to further expand its digital resources and enhance the bank's capabilities to better serve its hospitality and restaurant industry clients.
“This acquisition reflects our continued commitment to expanding our corporate payments capabilities, as well as investing in the solutions and tools our clients need to run their businesses more effectively”
- Emma Loftus, Executive Vice President, and Head of PNC Treasury Management
The size of global restaurant POS market is estimated to grow from $15.3 billion in 2021 to $27 billion by 2029 (CAGR of 7.3%).
The development of the market is anticipated to be aided by technological developments in the restaurant sector and the growing need for software designed specifically for restaurants, such as those used for inventory control, table management, and invoicing and payment.
Restaurant owners have been able to streamline their order management thanks to some recent advancements in order processing procedures. This system checks meal delivery timings, keeps track of inventory, and alerts users when a product is running low on stock.
Rising awareness about the cloud-based restaurant management systems especially in the developing economies is bolstering the growth of the market. Further, surging number of restaurant POS software solutions in the market is carving the way for the growth of the market.
Furthermore, the factors such as rising urbanisation, industrialisation and surging number of restaurants and eateries globally are some other important market drivers.
Additionally, huge presence of most technologically advanced leaders in the market for providing cutting edge technology in the developed economies in combination with rising personal disposable income are anticipated to drive the growth rate of the market.
The increasing trend of digitalisation further offers numerous growth opportunities within the market, including rising adoption of POS solutions providing contactless payment modes.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic impacted the business of the restaurant sector due to temporary shutdowns and lack of dine-in customers. However, the adoption of POS solutions provides contactless payment modes, which has helped restaurants survive the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, many packaged food services and other restaurants shifted to online sales channels to fulfil consumer needs. Thereby, the added advantage of installing POS systems to exact insights related to customer preference, and sales trends is expected to augment the market growth.
North America dominates the restaurant POS software market due to the presence of established economies such as U.S. and Canada and strong economic growth, growing number of market vendors, and rising investments by SMEs within the region. Prevalence of advanced IT infrastructure is another important factor determining the dominance of this region.
Asia-Pacific region is showing a promising potential and therefore, is set to grow with the highest growth rate during the forecast period. This is because of the well-organised nature of the foodservice industry across India and China, increasing need for enhanced customer experience and growing personal disposable income.
Restaurants, bars, and foodservice providers highly rely on POS technology to track sales, products, operations, and inventory. Along with POS solutions, software vendors are also offering solutions that include the Hotel Property Management System (PMS) so that the owners of restaurants can attain fully- integrated technology capabilities.
These systems help in providing a digital presentation of the food and drink specifically for a particular day and specific food accommodating food allergies, wine lists, and nutritional information. The growing integration of POS technology to improve restaurant operations is anticipated to drive the growth of the market in the times to come.
With customer expectations leaning toward ease and expediency, the implementation of technology into daily operations is critical to retaining current restaurant goers and attracting new ones.
From online ordering to QR codes that can be scanned to access menus, more customers are wanting to engage with restaurants in a digital manner. This can be a major revenue generator for those who decide to implement technology into their operations.
The techquisition of Linga aligns with PNC’s goal of enhancing the bank’s capabilities to better serve its hospitality and restaurant industry clients and reflects PNC's continued commitment to expanding its corporate payments capabilities. The deal should enable PNC to seamlessly integrate technology into its services, offering a unique and innovative solution which fits in the company’s long-term brand strategy.
“Leveraging Linga's proprietary solutions and PNC's competitive treasury management platform, we will be able to provide our restaurant and retail clients with the tools they need to keep up with ever-changing consumer expectations”
- Emma Loftus, Executive Vice President, and Head of PNC Treasury Management
PNC’s techquisition is a great example of how a traditional business belonging to the financial services industry is actively engaged in the journey of transforming itself to deliver greater value to its stakeholders – particularly its shareholders and customers – by properly positioning itself for the future, ready to tackle any disruptions.
The essence of such a transformation unfolding is embedded in a strategy execution approach we have trademarked and call TechquisitionTM, which my firm, Aquaa Partners, has designed and delivers to its clients every day as an experienced and trusted expert partner.