STC Ventures invests in Gengo, the leader in crowd-sourced online translation
Gengo closes a new round of funding with Intel Capital, Atomico, Iris Capital, Infocomm Investments, NTT-IP Fund and STC Ventures
Tokyo, April 23, 2013 – Gengo, the translation platform for global companies, announced that the company has recently closed a US$12M round of funding led by Intel Capital, along with participation from Iris Capital, Infocomm Investments, NTT-IP Fund and STC Ventures, and from returning investor Atomico.
Gengo provides an API and platform for fast, high-quality human translation for 33 languages, provided by a pool of over 7,500 tested and rated translators for global large and small-and-medium-sized companies as well as individuals. Currently, leading e-commerce, online travel, and community portals are powered by its translation platform.
With this new round of financing, Gengo will accelerate global expansion, while also improving the translation platform and increasing the speed of the translation process. Gengo recently partnered with YouTube, enabling video uploaders to order professional-quality translation for their captions. Leveraging Gengo’s translation platform, more and more of this kind of online communications will happen globally.
“The Gengo team is excited about working with investors from Asia, the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, lead by Intel Capital, because of their global experience and track record helping entrepreneurs,” said Robert Laing, CEO and co-founder of Gengo. “There’s a significant technology component to human translation at scale, so it’s great to work with a firm with the pedigree of Intel Capital,” added Matthew Romaine, CTO and co-founder of Gengo.
“As the Internet breaks down the concept of national borders, we think Gengo’s service will vitalize communication for people around the world.” said Kaz Yoshida, President, Intel K.K. “It will help to break the language barrier and bring together the wisdom of the people to address global social challenges we are facing. Intel promotes innovation so that people can enjoy rich and fulfilling experiences.”
“Gengo is at the forefront of the crowd-sourced translation space,” said Sudheer Kuppam, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Intel Capital. “Intel Capital welcomes Gengo to its portfolio. We look forward to working with the company to bring this unique service to more users worldwide.”
“Since our original investment, Gengo has proven it can scale its business across the world whilst growing its revenue fourfold,” said Hiro Tamura, Partner at Atomico. “We are excited to have Intel Capital, Infocomm and Orange all join the team as they share our core belief that the world is getting smaller, and that the most successful businesses of tomorrow will be truly global.”
“The 33 billion-dollar translation market is expected to experience a radical change and we believe that Gengo will play a crucial role in the change,” said Denis Barrier, Partner at Iris Capital. “We think it’s wonderful that Gengo has been based in both Asia and Silicon Valley since its establishment and is managed by visionary founders with global perspective”
“We are excited to join the team of truly global investors in helping Gengo with its expansion plans” said Kuo-Yi Lim, CEO of Infocomm Investments. “Singapore is well positioned – with a multicultural and multilingual environment, and diverse talent pool – as a base for Gengo’s growth into the rest of Asia.”
“Gengo provides crowd-sourced translation services utilizing a uniquely developed platform”, said Nobuyuki Akimoto, Executive Vice President & COO at DOCOMO Innovation Ventures. “They have been creating growing opportunities as a globally expanding start-up company and we look forward to their growth.”
Gengo is the platform for global companies. A powerful API lets enterprise customers integrate professional-quality translation into their application, making it easy to build multi-language services. Gengo’s simple website also allows individuals and SMBs to order individual translations in a matter of seconds. Over 7,500 qualified translators work on jobs through the Gengo platform, in all timezones. This scale means Gengo can return simple translations in a matter of minutes, in 33 languages and at a quality level suited to each customer. Gengo’s platform takes care of quality control, job allocation and translation review. This means companies can focus on their business, while Gengo empowers them to go global. Gengo was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Tokyo.
About Intel Capital:
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, health, consumer Internet, digital media and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10.8 billion in over 1,276 companies in 54 countries. In that timeframe, 201 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 317 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2012, Intel Capital invested US$352 million in 150 investments with approximately 57 percent of funds invested outside North America. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.
Atomico is an international technology investment firm, focused on helping the world’s most disruptive technology companies reach their full potential on a global scale. Founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype, they have become the investor of choice for ambitious entrepreneurs due to our unique international network, and ability to help companies operationally, with offices in London, Beijing, São Paulo, Istanbul and Tokyo. Their investments include category leaders such as Rovio, Jawbone, Fab, Klarna and Skype. www.atomico.com
About Iris Capital:
Iris Capital is a pan-European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €900 million in more than 200 companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Düsseldorf, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo. In 2012 Iris Capital has entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint venture capital initiative. www.iriscapital.com
About Infocomm Investments
Infocomm Investments is the venture capital arm of Singapore government’s IT authority — IDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore). Managing a fund of $200 million, Infocomm Investments invests alongside top-tier investors in growth stage technology companies and help startups around the world expand to Asian markets by leveraging Singapore’s top-class business infrastructure. For more information: www.infocomminvestments.com
About Docomo Innovation Ventures
DOCOMO Innovation Ventures, on behalf of NTT Group, play a proactive role in accelerating innovation for technologies and services by discovering, nurturing, and supporting venture businesses. We have just established 10-billion-yen (approximately 105 million USD) DOCOMO Innovation Fund, and have been operating 15-billion-yen (approximately 158 million USD) NTT Investment Partners Fund (NTT-IP Fund) since 2008. For more information: http://www.docomo-i-ventures.com/
About STC Ventures
STC Ventures is a venture capital fund, independently managed by Iris Capital, whose anchor investor is the Saudi Telecom Company. STC Ventures is focused on equity investments in the information technology, telecommunications, and digital media/entertainment sectors; seeking to support the development of innovative technology companies in Saudi Arabia, the GCC, Levant, North Africa and Turkey, in addition to funding globally minded international companies seeking capital and access to the MENA region. STC Group is the largest telecommunications company in MENA, ranked in the top 20 mobile networks in the world, and serving more than 160 million subscribers. www.stcventures.com
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