I’m very happy to announce that Gengo has recently raised a Series B investment of US$12 million. The investment was led by Intel Capital, included our Series A investors Atomico, and also included Iris Capital, Singapore-based Infocomm, Japan’s NTT-IP, and STCV (Saudi Telecom).
Gengo enjoyed a successful 2012, is operating in a vibrant and growing market, and we have a team and product in place that will allow us to continue to succeed in 2013 and beyond. Recent wins like our integration with YouTube are great steps on our mission: to help anyone and everyone communicate freely across languages. I’m also very excited that we have such an international group of investors including US, Japan, Singapore and the Middle East. People get it.
While the investment is great for Gengo, we think it’s exciting for other reasons.
First, startup activity in Japan is growing: new incubators, new seed-stage investments, and the overall atmosphere here is so much more vibrant and forward-looking than when we started working on Gengo in 2008. It’s exciting. There’s a long way to go, but we think the attitude is positive, and the environment is improving all the time. There are so many smart people and great market opportunities in Japan, it’s immensely satisfying to be a part of this surge. Read this NY Times article for a closer look.
Second, it’s even more validation for the practice of crowd-sourcing: giving huge numbers of people access to flexible, convenient work that allows them to earn money in ways never before possible. The success of companies like UTest and 99Designs in their respective spaces, Shutterstock’s great post-IPO performance, and the continued interest in platforms like Mechanical Turk show that this is a huge and compelling area to be working in.
So what’s next for Gengo?
Translators: Expect our system to continue to improve over the next year, specifically around quality automation and other features to make you more productive and allow you to produce better translations. We’re also big on helping you grow and improve through the platform, including providing continuous feedback on your performance and for learning tricks of the translation trade.
Customers and Developers: You can expect powerful features for translation at scale, and tools to make the API easier and faster to integrate into your apps. Integrations like 3Play Media, Dakwak, Transifex, YouTube are good examples of what we can do, and we aim to get better and better. I’m really excited by the things we’re making now as a company, and we’re determined to make 2013 the most productive year we’ve ever had.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported Gengo so far: Friends and family, Gengo staff, partners, investors, developers, translators and senior translators, customers and fans. It’s awesome to have so many people behind us who all believe in the vision of helping the world communicate freely.
We have a long way to go, so let’s go do it!