KUDO, a New York-headquartered, cloud-based virtual interpreting platform, has been flying high since the beginning of the year as travel bans and work from home policies have decimated the in-person conference space. Virtual interpreting is exactly what it sounds like — rather than in-person or over the phone, interpreters work within an online platform of choice. Virtual interpreting includes remote simultaneous interpreting, which is what KUDO does. Simultaneous interpreting is necessary for fast-paced conference settings where participants may need to keep up with presenters in their native languages. Some previous popular remote interpreting solutions required waiting for interpretation, such as over-the-phone health care interpretation.
With the sudden worldwide switch to online conferences, KUDO found itself in an unexpected position. With demand outpacing supply, the company grew to 7,500 simultaneous interpreters in over 70 languages and needed cash to grow. Led by Felicis Ventures, ID8 Investments, Global Founders Capital, Advancit Capital and AirAngels injected $6 million into the company.
“We are going to use the investment to further develop the product by growing our engineering and customer success teams,” says Fardad Zabetian, founder and CEO of KUDO in an exclusive interview. “Our fully-equipped virtual multilingual conference room in the cloud makes you feel like you are at the United Nations.”
Ewandro Magalhães, Chief Language Officer at KUDO, highlights that “KUDO offers features like parliamentary voting and polling, document distribution, and sign language interpreting, which makes it one of the most inclusive web conferencing solutions on the market today.”
A year ago, virtual interpreting was described by pundits and analysts as the solution in search of a problem. In times of COVID-19, it has now become the solution to the problem, with constant improvements and new features. Just this week, virtual interpreting provider Boostlingo is releasing three new features, which will go live July 24. Boostlingo can now integrate with Zoom and also provides real-time quality of service monitoring. Another feature that will go live on Boostlingo this week is four-way video conferencing. While the company had these features in its pipeline before the onset of the pandemic, their development was prioritized as a response to changing requirements in the virtual interpreting space due to COVID-19.