Latvian SaaS translation start-up Lokalise has raised nearly five million euros in a Series A round led by Mike Chalfen, one of the biggest names in European venture capital. Austria-based fund capital300 also contributed to the funding series, as well as a number of angel investors.
Lokalise was a previously a bootstrapped company, meaning that it did not seek outside funding in its earlier stages of development. Now, the Series A close represents one of the largest first-time investments into a Latvian start-up.
The company’s product is a platform that helps its customers manage translations and localisations of software, websites, apps, and other digital assets. Despite advances in technology, a large number of companies still translate and localise their software manually, using large and often cumbersome Excel files.
This is the pain point that Lokalise addresses for its users. With the company’s platform, localised content can be pushed directly into the software thus allowing the translation team to work on the translation in parallel with the software development team meaning there is no idle time and translations can be completed faster.
Additionally, the platform lets teams collaborate remotely and allows managers to easily monitor workflows and assign tasks.
That Lokalise managed to reach a meaningful scale without external funding led the start-up’s founders to surmise that it could grow even faster. Founded in 2017 in Riga, the company now has 1,500 customers in 80 countries.
“Initially we were just a handful of coders building a product for a pain that we ourselves were experiencing,” says Nick Ustinov, CEO and co-founder of Lokalise. “When top-tier customers started knocking on our doors we saw the larger opportunity at play.”
Right now, Lokalise is used by a number of Fortune 500 companies, such as Revolut, Yelp, Virgin Mobile, and Notion.
Lead investor Mike Chalfen emphasises that translation and localisation are a big pain point for companies that want to expand globally.
“Lokalise changes that. It has amazing customer references. Its beautifully designed collaborative tool and powerful integrations position it to disrupt the industry’s complex and archaic business processes. I am excited to partner with this ambitious team to build a new category leader,” he explains.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company went fully remote which now allows it to recruit talent from anywhere in the world. According to the company founders, that is where a lot of the investment money will go as the company needs the best talent to further expand.
“We are impressed by Lokalise‘s customer-centricity and best-in-class product. The team has achieved fast product-led growth while bootstrapping, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, and have decided to speed up expansion and accelerate growth further,” says Eva Arh of capital300.
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