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It looks like competition among translation startups is heating up, with a number of companies popping up making substantial announcements in the last few months. Smartling, a startup that helps businesses to better use their websites by speaking to customers in their native language in real time, announced today it has secured a first round of funding for $4 million.
Smartling is one of many services targeting internet companies looking to do global business. The company claims that more than 70% of internet users don’t speak English. You can imagine it would be pretty difficult to sell a product if that website isn’t in the consumers native language. The company offers several forms of automatic website translation, including professional company translators, machine-based translation or “crowd-source” translation to members of the online community. Just tell Smartling which sections of a website you want translated and when a consumer visits the site, their location is secured and that language is uploaded.
Other companies with recent announcements, include Worldwide Lexicon, a translation platform, which announced a partnership with SpeakLike, a professional translation agency, for a new WordPress tool that translates for a relatively small fee per word. LiveMocha, a language learning site, recently scored $8 million in funding to help support its rapid growth. Industry giant Google announced an upgrade to its translation service for Chrome in windows including automatic full page translation for users with a click of a button. A step up from previous cut, paste and translate scenarios found across the web.
New York-based Smartling, founded in 2009, will use the funding to support product development and expansion of operations. The round was led by Venrock, including US Venture Partners, First Round Capital and several angel investors.