Secures funding to enhance products with integrated generative AI and enter new localization markets beyond media and entertainment.
San Jose, CA (Sep 26, 2023) – XL8, a leading deep-tech startup specializing in AI-powered machine translation technology, has closed $7.5 million in a Series A funding round, bringing total fundraising thus far to $11.5 million. This achievement is particularly noteworthy, given the recent fund-raising slowdowns and hardships within the tech startup ecosystem.
This round was led by KB Investment, one of the prominent investment firms in the Korean venture capital and private equity markets. KB Investment has a track record of investing in startups across Southeast Asia and India, as well as bio- and healthcare startups in the US. Additionally, Atinum Investment, an existing investor, also participated in this funding round.
The funds will be used to enhance XL8’s product offerings and further develop the core platform business, including leveraging generative AI capabilities into XL8’s proprietary AI technologies. Additionally, the newly raised funds will also help facilitate XL8’s global reach through international expansion into Europe, the Middle East, as well as further expansion throughout the Americas. XL8 has already initiated its global market expansion earlier this year into the UK, Turkey, and the UAE. Generative AI further to streamline the localization process, saving time and boosting efficiency.
Josh Pine, Chief Revenue Officer of XL8, expressed, “This funding round empowers us to enhance our flagship products, making them more functional on a professional level for localization experts, but still very user-friendly for those just discovering how to localize their own content for the first time. By integrating generative AI into our proprietary AI solutions and strengthening the related infrastructure, we are taking AI to the next level. Internally, we are calling it AI-squared. Our goal is to offer a practical product that a broader, global, customer base can readily utilize, while keeping costs and efficiencies in check with ever changing market demands. I believe that XL8 has created the first globally recognized AI-powered localization tool that benefits the whole localization industry: from the major film Studios and their professional language services providers, to translating live global shows, sports and events, down to the individual entrepreneurial filmmaker. ”
By shifting the burden of transcription and translation work from purely human methods to a hybrid workflow that combines humans and machines, XL8 allows humans to focus on increasing output, as well as the creative aspects that only humans can provide. This shift will not only improve the efficiency of transcription and translation tasks but also enable translators and localization companies to increase their output, and therefore, earning potential.
Ji Ae Lee, Executive Managing Director of KB Investment, remarked, “In today’s interconnected world, the creation, consumption, and sharing of content transcend geographical boundaries in real-time, with an ever-expanding appetite for it. As video consumption has risen, the need for localization services remains on the rise. The smartest approach to meet this demand is by infusing AI technology into traditional workflows, thereby creating new markets and revolutionizing the industry.”
“In the 12 months since we launched our flagship product, MediaCAT, we have gained invaluable insights into the needs of localization professionals.”, Tim Jung, CEO of XL8, noted. “Our goal is to help localization professionals collaborate quickly and easily, and this round will help us advance our solution so that professionals around the world can focus on their creativity.”
XL8 stands as the world’s sole company dedicated to media-specific translation technology and aims to expand into various colloquial language-based business sectors. In July, the Company announced its acquisition of A American High-Tech Transcription And Reporting, Inc. (AHT), widely renowned for its expertise in US Government related stenography, transcription, and translation services. This strategic acquisition marks XL8’s entry into new markets that extend beyond media and entertainment, encompassing all facets of contemporary colloquial communication.
Beyond media and entertainment, XL8 aims to build strong partnerships and integrate solutions with companies in diverse industries that require localization, including live broadcasts, e-commerce, call centers, and live events and conferences.
XL8 was founded in 2019 by technical executives from Google and Apple, both with an advanced degree in Computer Science from Columbia University. A Silicon Valley tech company at its core, XL8 takes AI-powered machine translation (MT), specially optimized for media content, to the next level. Its advanced technology allows significantly more efficient workflows by providing: in-line editing, automated media transcription with time coding, automated subtitling, synthesized voice dubbing, real-time meeting interpretation, and live subtitling. XL8’s uniquely specialized translation engines have been built from the ground up utilizing professionally trained, human-perfected subtitles curated from the media industry’s top content producers. XL8’s “secret sauce” offers media focused translation accuracy that is up to 40% higher than other generally available MT services. Since its inception, XL8 has surpassed translating 800,000 hours of content and more than 2.2 billion words, and currently supports more than 45 languages.