Machine translation platform, Unbabel, has raised $23 million in a series B funding from investors like Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung Next, Scale Venture Partners, Notion Capital, Caixa Capital and Funders Club. The company uses humans to verify the content that was translated using the platform.
Unbabel was founded in 2013. It merges neural machine translation and quality algorithms for estimation and natural language processing (NLP) to translate more than 70 language combinations. The platform has contributions coming from over 55,000 human linguists. These professionals are not qualified translators—at least not all of them—and each one of them are evaluated properly before being selected into the program.
The process is simple – the machines translate the text and then the humans will do a further filtration of the content, which is once again checked by the machines. This process goes in a loop until the translation is absolutely perfect. Unbabel has claimed that this process makes the translation more effective as compared to other translation providers like Google.
The platform can be seamlessly integrated with content management systems, marketing platforms, and CRM software like WordPress, Salesforce, Zendesk, and MailChimp. The company already has clients like Facebook, Oculus, Pinterest, Rovio, and Buzfeed.
Unbabel company stands out in customer service, which is evident from its clients like Oculus and Pinterest, who are using this platform to propel their global customer service through live chat and email. Another example is Skyscanner, who catered to customer inquiries in 28 languages across 60 million customers—all this with a small team of 10 support executives.
The funding news has come at the right time, just when the company announced a new video-focused service for the B2B segment. Speaking on this occasion, CEO of Unbabel, Vasco Pedro, said, “The world’s biggest global brands are realizing that there’s a huge gap between basic translation and real communication when localizing for different regions. Nothing puts customers off more than a lack of care to communicate in their own language.”
Andy Vitus from Scale Venture Partners commented, “Unbabel is eliminating the language barrier for large enterprises to easily serve a global customer base. Never before have companies been able to easily integrate translation into daily workflow in a cost-effective way. This integration is setting up Unbabel to be the central hub for translation in the enterprise.”
Before this funding round, the company had raised around $8 million, and, with the new funds in place, the company plans to enhance its machine translation and develop quality estimation technology. It will also invest in sales and marketing initiatives in new regions.