BLEND Raises USD 10m From Fortissimo By Expanding to All-in-One Localization

Translation Agency BLEND Raises USD 10m From Fortissimo By Expanding to All-in-One Localization

BLEND (formerly One Hour Translation) announced that it had raised USD 10m in a funding round that closed on February 25, 2021. Led by existing investor, Tel Aviv-based VC, Fortissimo Capital, the round brings total funds raised to USD 20m.

According to Yair Tal, CEO of the Israel-based language service provider (LSP), BLEND secured additional funding from Fortissimo based on a “broader vision and enhanced execution capabilities” — that is, “our expansion from online translation to all-in-one localization services.”

Tal said, “2020 marked a turning point for us, towards becoming a strategic localization partner for mid-size companies and enterprises.” While the Tel Aviv-based LSP serves all sectors, they see increased translation ‌demand ‌from e-commerce,‌ ‌gaming,‌ ‌e-learning‌, and high-tech segments. The CEO added, “The company enjoys a growth momentum and is expected to grow 150% in 2021.”

They will deploy the new funds to fuel growth, Tal said, “organically and through acquisitions of relevant companies, and adding complementary localization solutions to cater to our customers’ growing needs.”

The LSP will continue to operate the self-serve platform, (OHT), where customers upload files into the platform and the system distributes projects to linguists based on language pairs, vertical, and expertise.

“The platform also allows post-editing and splitting big files to a few experts for faster delivery,” Tal said, adding that OHT’s on-demand, project-based business model means “customers can buy word banks to reduce cost in various pricing plans.”

BLEND Founders and CEO Yair Tal
CEO Yair Tal (2L) with founders (from left) Lior Libman, Yaron Kaufman, and Oren Yagev

BLEND, meanwhile, will serve enterprise clients (i.e., as opposed to clients sourced via search or through LSPs). The BLEND workflow is handled by project managers who serve as points of contact for clients: uploading projects to the platform, overseeing API integration to machine translation engines (Google Cloud Translation, Amazon Translate, ModernMT, SYSTRAN, KantanMT, DeepLPro, etc.), and ensuring quality and on-time delivery.

BLEND is also project-based, Tal explained, but “with an annual contract […] predefined scope with milestones, including a SaaS model.” I Recruit Talent. Find Jobs

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The CEO told Slator, “It is likely that, in the future, we will merge the OHT offering into the BLEND website.”

BLEND has over 100 employees across five offices in Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Kyiv, and Bucharest. Tal said no changes in leadership accompanied the new round.