The market for web-based translations is estimated to be worth around $3 billion currently, and big markets tend to attract investors. One of the newer companies in that area, Tokyo-based myGengo (which we previously profiled as “Mechanical Turk for translation”), just raised a $750,000 seed round from some high-profile backers.
What’s interesting is that the round was extremely international, as its total of twelve participants cover eight nationalities and currently reside in eleven different countries. Investors include Dave McClure (who made a personal investment earlier this year and now added myGengo to his 500 Startups fund), last.fm co-founder Felix Miller, Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, Brian Nelson (CEO at Japan-based affiliate marketing firm ValueCommerce), Pageflakes co-founder Christoph Janz, Benjamin Joffe (CEO at China-based tech consultancy Plus Eight Star), and a number of Japanese angels.
myGengo offers crowdsourced translations in nine different languages. The main bullet points are that all translations (from short sentences to long texts) are handled by certified human translators, entirely over the web and up to 70% cheaper when compared to professional translators. In April, myGengo rolled out an API that allows developers to plug on-demand human translation directly into websites, apps, widgets, social networks, and other products.
The company is on a roll, saying that since April, the volume of words translated per month grew five-fold – just like monthly revenue did. myGengo now intends to use the fresh money to expand its multi-lingual site tool “String”, create API plugins for a number of popular frameworks, and build its US enterprise sales operation.