AI business translation software provider Lilt today announced it has raised $55 million in a Series C round led by Four Rivers, along with new investors Sorenson Capital, Clear Ventures and Wipro Ventures. The company says it plans to use the capital to expand its research and development, customer base and engineering teams.
“Little” [aims to] create a solution that [will] Combine the best of human ingenuity with the efficiency of machines,” CEO Spence Green said in an email interview with gaming-updates. “This new funding will… [reduce our] economic unit [to make] Translation is more accessible to all businesses. it will also [enable us to add] Sales department for our existing production group in Asia. We are located in three regions – the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia – and we want to have sales and manufacturing teams in each of these regions.
translation using artificial intelligence
Based in San Francisco, California, Lilt was founded in 2015 by Green and John Denero. Green is a former software engineer at Northrop Grumman who later worked as a research intern on the Google Translate team, developing an AI language system to improve translation from English to Arabic. DeNero was previously a Google Senior Fellow, primarily speaking for Google Translate, and a professor of education at the University of California, Berkeley.
“15 years ago I lived in the Middle East where you make little money speaking anything but English. Greene told gaming-updates: “I had never experienced such disparity before and the downside was very disappointing. Then I returned to the United States, went to high school and started working on Google Translate, where I met. [DeNero]My mission is to make the world’s information accessible to everyone, no matter where they were born or what language they speak.”
Lilt uses a combination of human translators and tools, including keyboard shortcuts, style guides, and an AI translation engine, to translate marketing, support, and e-commerce documents, as well as web pages, Lilt’s core workload. Green says the platform supports about 40 languages and provides custom termbases and lexicons that show translators the range of possible translations for a particular word.
The aforementioned artificial intelligence engine, which regularly learns from new data, including feedback from Lilt translators, analyzes the translation data and makes recommendations. But the translators have the last word.
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning help automate the business translation process, but you can’t automate it—that’s why we work with a human,” says Green. “We leave the creative and emotional elements of translation to the people, while automating tedious and repetitive elements. This helps our company’s integration economy and allows companies to translate at all customer touchpoints.”
Using the Lilt platform, clients can assign translators and editors, track deadlines and progress of translation tasks. After signing a yearly contract with Lilt, customers can use the service’s APIs and connectors to submit text for translation from platforms such as Slack, WordPress, GitHub, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Adobe Marketing Cloud.
Translators receive a fixed hourly rate, which is negotiated individually. They must earn at least $20 to provide “linguistic services” through the platform in order to receive payment, which can include both peer review and translation. Lilt automatically tracks hours, counting only time spent actively translating and viewing content, not time spent externally researching outside of Lilt’s standard operating range (transfers per volume of 30 seconds for a segment and 50 seconds for a segment rating).
According to a recent Salesforce survey, the average consumer currently uses 10 channels, including social media and SMS, to communicate with businesses. However, the average company supports a relatively small number of languages. A survey conducted by Stripe in July 2020 found that 74% of European e-commerce websites have not translated their checkout pages into local languages.
It’s an opportunity that Green sees despite competition from competitors like Anbabel. Grand View Research expects the machine translation market to be worth $983.3 million by 2022.
With more than 150 employees, Lilt already says it has clients in education, crypto, technology, defense and intelligence at companies like Intel, Emerson, Juniper Networks, Orca Security and more. “Providing end-to-end multilingual customer service is becoming increasingly important,” said Green.
Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Xseed Capital also participated in the Lilt Series C round, bringing the startup’s total capital to $92.5 million.