Lisbon-based Unbabel raises $23 million to become the world’s translation layer

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Unbabel-Founders

Language remains one of the biggest barriers for people who aim to grow a global business. Today, Unbabel announced it has raised another $23 million to meet rocketing demand for its solution to this challenge – bringing its combination of machine-learning and human-quality translation to more businesses, in more countries, than ever.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Lisbon, Unbabel is on a mission to become the world’s translation layer. Unbabel’s proprietary technology platform combines Natural Language Processing, Neural Machine Translation, quality estimation algorithms and a global network of 55,000 translators who enable cost-effective, quality translations for communicational content on a global scale.

A graduate of Y Combinator’s 2014 Winter Batch, Unbabel offers APIs for easy integration with companies’ internal content creation, translation and communicational workflows, with dedicated integrations for Salesforce, Zendesk, WordPress, Mailchimp and other platforms that enable companies and their customers to understand and be understood in dozens of languages.

Commenting on the news, Unbabel CEO and co-founder, Vasco Pedro: “We started this business with the ambition to reach the 70% of internet users who don’t speak English, even as a second language. But the demand for global brands to serve customers in their native language has accelerated so fast that Unbabel must now take the next step of scale
to meet it. Our mission is unique, and has attracted some of the finest minds and partners in machine-learning and SaaS to achieve it. In an Unbabel-powered internet, every business will be able to go global from day one.”

The fresh capital has been injected by Scale Venture Partners, Notion, Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung NEXT and others.

Andy Vitus, Partner at Scale Venture Partners, commented: “Unbabel is eliminating the language barrier for large enterprises to easily serve a global customer base. Never before have companies been able to easily integrate translation into daily workflow in a cost effective way. This integration is setting up Unbabel to be the central hub for translation in the enterprise.”

InJanuary 2015 we mentioned Unbabel for the first time as a Portuguese startup to look out for in 2015. The previous funding round of $5 million was closed in October of 2016. In 2017 we did an interview with Unbabel’s CEO Vasco Pedro.