WritePath, an editing company that serves college applicants, technical writers, and academic researchers, has raised $525,000 in seed funding led by B Dash Ventures. The Singapore-based startup will use the capital to set up offices in Japan, Korea, and the U.S. WritePath operates three online editing services called Topadmit.com, Topsciedit.com, and Bizeditors.com that each serve different verticals.
Other investors included Pinehurst Advisors; Jamie Lin of AppWorks; Jackie Cheng, founder of GogoLook (which was recently acquired by Naver, the owner of messaging service Line); and Bernard Chan, former entrepreneur-in-residence at TMI Ventures, and founder of AlphaCamp.
WritePath says its goal is to become “the world’s premier vertically integrated editing and translation service provider” and it currently receives most orders from China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the Ukraine.
Founded in 2009, Topadmit.com serves students working on their college admission essays. The startup says that in the 2013-2014 admission cycle, received orders from 22 countries and grew 50%. Founder Charles Chin tells TechCrunch that TopAdmit’s main competitor is Peterson’s EssayEdge.
That company, however, is “very U.S. and English-centric,” says Chin.
“TopAdmit, on the other hand, wants to serve students globally and have through these years gathered in-depth understanding of non-U.S. clients. TopAdmit provides a multiple-language interface and customer service support, with focus in the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese markets. These are in reality the fastest growing markets, with 20% annual growth.”
Topsciedit.com, meanwhile, is geared toward academics, in particular scientific and medical researchers, and uses the same tech platform and business model as TopAdmit. Chin says it has worked with more than 300 researchers and doctors and also signed long-term contracts with research institutes.
In this particular vertical, “there is no clear industry leader, but only mom and pop shops,” says Chin. “We differentiate from them by speed and pricing.”
WritePath’s newest product, Bizeditors.com is for enterprise clients. It currently works with 190 multinational corporations in the electronics industry and provides editing, copywriting, and translation services.
Chin says Bizeditors.com’s main competitor is translation service Gengo, but Bizeditors.com sets itself apart by focusing on translating Chinese into all other languages and vice versa, whereupon Gengo translates Chinese into English and Chinese only, Chin tells TechCrunch [Update: A Gengo spokesman told me that Gengo translates English to simplified and traditional Chinese and also translates from traditional or simplified Chinese to English and Japanese]. The site’s main distribution channels are located in Asia, specifically China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, and it also provides proofreading on top of translation.
In a statement, Mark Hsu, general partner at Pinehurst Advisors, said “The study abroad market globally is growing 8% annually and in many of the markets that WritePath is making strong inroads into, such as Vietnam, year-over-year growth is at 40%. The combination of scale and a rising market means that WritePath is well-positioned for accelerated growth.”
Photo by Death To The Stock Photo