Babelverse Lands Seed Round Led By 500 Startups For Human-Powered Online Translation

Babelverse, the language translation startup that landed the title of “Audience Choice” at Disrupt NYC this past May, has raised a seed round led by 500 Startups along with a group of other angel investors.

Babelverse’s online marketplace provides speech translation services in close to real-time through a worldwide network of human interpreters. Today, Babelverse co-founders Josef Dunne and Mayel de Borniol tell me, its team of nearly 4,000 interpreters spans more than 100 countries and currently covers 642 languages (seriously, I am not sure that I knew there were that many.) We at TechCrunch are actually using Babelverse to translate the live webcast of next week’s Disrupt SF conference into 12 languages.

Dunne and de Bornial say that the new money will be used to build out their full-time team which at the moment consists of three people based in San Francisco. The company plans to hire globally, though — given their already fully geographically dispersed network of translators, de Bornial says Babelverse is very comfortable hiring “the best person for the role regardless of physical location.” Another focus going forward, they say, will be mobile apps.

Also, Babelverse is a nice fit for 500 Startups, the startup accelerator and VC fund led by Dave McClure which has become known for its global focus. It’ll be fun to see how the company grows going forward.

Want a look at Babelverse in action? Check out their demo onstage at Disrupt NYC a few months back: