Meet Lokalise, a Latvian startup that focuses on translation and localization of apps, websites, games and more. The company provides a software-as-a-service product that helps you improve your workflow and processes when you need to update text in different languages in your product.
The company just raised a $6 million funding round led by Mike Chalfen, with Andrey Khusid, Nicolas Dessaigne, Des Traynor, Matt Robinson and others also participating.
When it’s time to ship an update, many companies waste time at the last minute as they still need to translate new buttons and new text in other languages. It’s often a manual process that involves sending and incorporating files with long lists of text strings in different languages.
“As a matter of fact, the most popular tools used in localisation processes are still Excel and Google Sheets. Next come internally-built scripts and tools,” co-founder and CEO Nick Ustinov told me.
Lokalise is all about speeding up that process. You can either manually upload your language files or integrate directly with GitHub or GitLab so that it automatically fetches changes.
You can then browse each sentence in different languages from the service. Your team of translators can edit text in the Lokalise interface. As a web-based service, everybody remains on the same page.
Some productivity features let you collaborate with other team members. You can comment and mention other people. You can assign tasks and trigger events based on completed tasks. For instance, Lokalise can notify a reviewer when a translation is done.
When everything is completed, you can use Lokalise to dynamically deliver language files to your mobile apps using SDKs and an API, or you can simply upload to an object storage bucket so that your app can fetch the latest language file from a server.
If you’re a small company and don’t have a team of translators, Lokalise lets you use Google Translate or a marketplace of professional translators. It works with Gengo or Lokalise’s own marketplace. There are some built-in spelling and grammar features to help you spot the most obvious 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%.”
The startup now has 1,500 customers, such as Revolut, Yelp, Virgin Mobile and Notion. It currently generates $4 million in annual recurring revenue.
Overall, Lokalise solves a very specific need. It is probably overkill for many companies. But if you ship often and you have customers all around the world, it could speed up the process a little bit.