Previously bootstrapped, the software startup team Lokalise decided to raise external capital to hire top talent in order to accelerate growth, as it moves remote.
This week, Latvian translation software startup Lokalise announced that it had raised $6 million in a recent funding round. With a focus on translation and localization of apps, websites, and games, Lokalise provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that helps users improve workflow and processes when updating for different languages and regions.
“Initially we were just a handful of coders building a product for a pain that we ourselves were experiencing,” said Lokalise co-founder and CEO Nick Ustinov. “When top-tier customers started knocking on our doors we saw the larger opportunity at play. We quickly realized that the greatest challenge to scale Lokalise is in attracting the best go-to-market talent. Having met good VCs in both Europe and the US, we are happy that we picked Mike Chalfen as our partner to realize our vision.”
Lokalise aims to streamline the localization process, allowing users to upload language files or integrate them directly with GitHub or GitLab so that it automatically updates changes. Additionally, users can browse each sentence in different languages from the service, and a team of translators can edit text in the Lokalise interface all on the same page.
Similar to cloud-based platforms, Lokalise has collaboration features through comments and mentions, as well as assign tasks and trigger events based on completed tasks, like an email notification. Furthermore, Lokalise allows users to use Google Translate or a marketplace of professional translators, with built-in spelling and grammar features to spot errors.
“Most customers work with internal or external individual translators or language service providers (LSPs) directly,” Ustinov said. “The SaaS product generates 90% of our revenue — the revenue breakdown between the SaaS product and the marketplace of translation services is 90%/10%.
Founded in 2017 in Riga, Latvia, by tech entrepreneurs Petr Antropov and Nick Ustinov, the company has since attracted over 1,500 customers in 80 countries, from early-stage businesses, to scaleups and Fortune500 companies, including Revolut, Yelp, Virgin Mobile, and Notion.
“Every business has an online presence, yet inefficient localization remains a painful barrier to geographic expansion,” said lead investor Mike Chalfen. “Lokalise changes that. It has amazing customer references. Its beautifully designed collaborative tool and powerful integrations position it to disrupt the industry’s complex and archaic business processes. I am excited to partner with this ambitious team to build a new category leader.”