Globalization is one of the benefits of an increasingly connected world, although challenges can still arise. One such challenge is the transactional friction that comes with differences in language and culture. While automated applications like Google Translate can help bridge this gap with machine translation, there is no substitute for human intellect when it comes to accurately translating the varied nuances that come with each language and culture.
This is exactly the challenge that Conyac for Business is taking on. Conyac is a crowdsourced translation service that provides a platform for enterprises and end-users to have their content translated, and for multilingual individuals to provide translation services for a fee.
Their differentiator: Conyac promises turnover of translations within minutes (for short pieces). All of the work is checked by experienced and verified translators, so you are assured of quality. Naoki Yamada, founder and CEO of Japanese startup anydooR, told e27 that they have gathered translators around the world, and have matched the needs and demands of translations globally. “Our unique selling point is the price range and the quality control system. We use evaluation system between translators to keep the quality high,” he shared.
“If it is a short request like emails, you are able to get your results in 15 minutes,” assures Yamada, who says that the platform’s most popular translations involve Japanese-English, Japanese-Chinese, Japanese-Korean and English-Indonesian translations.
Scratching the translation itch
Founded in 2009, anydooR has 17 members in its team. Yamada says that the idea for a crowdsourced translation platform came about when the startup’s founders had the need for translation services coming back to Japan after studying abroad. “We noticed translation needs for individuals when we came back to Japan after studying abroad in the States, however we could not find any good solution for individuals. Therefore we started to develop this service.”
With Conyac, users are charged when they make a request for translation. The request is then seeded out to users, who get paid rewards depending on the length. Conyac takes a commission from each transaction. The platform’s main client are currently social gaming companies and e-commerce providers that need to extend their reach to foreign markets. “We are expanding our business globally,” Yamada says.
The service comes with three pricing schemes, which includes a pay-as-you-go plan, which is ideal for freelancers or occasional users who might just need translation services on a one-off basis.
Looking for the next big thing
anydooR has had three funding rounds so far: US$100,000 from Skylight Consulting, US$60,000 from Samurai Incubate and US$285,000 from United. Yamada says it the startup is seeking to raise another round at US$1.5 million to support its expansion goals. “Our goal for the next round is to gather over 100,000 Translators with a total sales of US$1 million/month.”
Conyac for Business is part of the Startup Marketplace at Echelon this June, where I will also be moderating a panel on mobile, focusing on trends and best practices from across the region. If you’d like to learn more about Conyac and the other startups that will pitch and participate, you can still grab early bird tickets at a discount.