Language I/O announced on March 23 that it has raised over $5 million in A round funding. The women-led, Wyoming-based company had been bootstrapped since 2015, except for a seed round of $500,000 in October 2020. The new funding is particularly significant because according to data published by Crunchbase, only 2% of global venture capital funding goes to companies founded solely by women, and even less in the tech space.
Bob Davoli of Gutbrain Ventures and Bruce Clarke of PBJ Capital co-led the A round, and were joined by other investors including Omega Venture Partners and Tom Axbey. Golden Seeds participated in the original seed round as well as this latest round of funding. Davoli and Axbey will join the Language I/O board of directors along with the two co-founders of Language I/O, CEO Heather Morgan Shoemaker and CBO Kaarina Kvaavik. The founders are still majority shareholders following the funding round, owning just over 50% of the company.
“Language I/O is disrupting how businesses communicate with their global customers,” said Davoli. “The combination of innovative technology, product market fit, and an exceptionally strong team compelled me to invest. Language I/O is eminently poised for tremendous growth.”
Language I/O allows clients to provide real-time customer support in more than 100 languages, ensuring that company-specific terms are accurately translated using proprietary core technology. The software is currently focused on translation across all e-support channels, including email, articles, chat, and social messaging, among others. The company is now poised to extend its B2B translation tech beyond customer support.
“I am extremely proud of our team,” said Shoemaker. “This investment will allow us to expand our sales and development teams so we can build out our conversational AI translation tech to meet our customer’s needs.”
Language I/O’s AI-powered solution purports to identify the best neural machine translation (NMT) engine for each language the customer chooses to translate. Then it layers proprietary technology over those engines to ensure that messy user-generated content (UGC) such as acronyms, misspellings and jargon is accurately translated each time. Their software solution also integrates into three of the largest customer relationship management systems (CRMs): Salesforce Service Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, and Zendesk, and is now available via API.
“We are thrilled to be one of the rare technology companies founded and led by women to receive venture capital funding,” stated Kvaavik.