Software/ platforms

Smartling Announces $160 Mn Investment from Battery Ventures

Investment in enterprise-class, cloud translation platform will capitalize on growing demand for global and localized brand, content and customer experiences

Smartling, the leading cloud translation technology platform company, today announced a $160 million growth investment from Battery Ventures, a global, technology-focused investment firm.

Smartling’s Enterprise Translation Cloud is used by hundreds of B2B and B2C brands, including IHG Hotels & Resorts, Shopify, Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) and Lyft. The company will use the capital infusion to expand its product offerings and technology platform.

Battery Ventures, which has a long history of backing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing companies, identified Smartling as an industry leader based on its comprehensive translation platform, one that uses both the power of AI and machine learning technologies and the intuitive skills of its marketplace of translators. Machine translation delivers efficiency for high volume, low priority content, while human translation delivers higher quality and greater accuracy and takes into account context, nuance, and the user experience. Smartling’s translation management system provides customers the ability to manage the end-to-end translation process, from controls and compliance to integrations and analytics.

According to McKinsey & Company, over 361 million people around the world participate in cross-border e-commerce. A study by the European banking group Standard Chartered found that nearly half of US businesses today say their best growth opportunity is outside the US, and that has increased nearly 30% in just a year. And, according to an industry analyst CSA Research, 76% of buyers agree or strongly agree that when faced with the choice of two similar products, they prefer to purchase the one with product information in their own language.

“Two truisms have emerged about today’s enterprises: all business is global, and content drives global business,” said Jack Welde, co-founder and CEO of Smartling. “The third leg of that stool is translation, since nearly all customers want to buy in their own language. This is a tremendous opportunity and we are excited to realize it together with Battery.”

Smartling works with thousands of expert, professional translators to ensure that translated content is not only accurate, but localized for the relevant market. Localization of content ensures that when it is translated, its intended meaning and connotation remains the same across languages, avoiding unintended offense and protecting the company and its audience from misunderstandings.

“Enterprises generally succeed on the strength of technology, supply chains, people, and workflows. As content has become essential to go-to-market strategies, content distribution has in some sense become its own supply chain and workflow,” said Morad Elhafed, general partner at Battery Ventures. “And, as that content supply chain extends globally, translation at scale has become the critical last mile for global enterprise growth”.

“This is a significant market opportunity and Smartling is primed to capitalize on it. We’ve been tracking Jack’s leadership and the company’s trajectory for a while now and are very impressed with its progress and potential,” continued Mr. Elhafed, who is joining the Smartling Board of Directors. “We’re excited to bring our cloud expertise to help Smartling move into the next phase of its growth journey.”

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