Over the past year, Silicon Valley-based language service provider (LSP) e2f has been refocusing its business on high value-added services.
This includes every area where e2f can add technology value: AI datasets leveraging the LSP’s proprietary data annotation platform, custom machine translation (MT) solutions, and continuous localization using a high level of integration and automation. This also includes complex linguistic services, such as marketing translation, transcreation, and copywriting.
As such, the company has decided to move away from lower value-added services, such as localization staffing and subcontracting from other LSPs, according to Michel Lopez, Founder and CEO at e2f.
“We saw that the localization industry was becoming stale, and we wanted to remain a leader in the lingtech industry — a small but rapidly growing set of companies that are highly knowledgeable, linguistically and culturally, but focused on solving challenges with technology,” Lopez said.
He added, “It has been clear for a number of years that the localization industry has needed to adapt to AI in general, and MT in particular. So, we made the conscious effort to lower our exposure to the type of services that will be replaced by technology, such as human translation. Instead, we embrace AI and technology — whether this means building our own technology, helping our clients train their AI engines, or using the best available AI services in our operations — while developing higher-value linguistic services that are less threatened by technology.”
Asked if human translation (HT) will have a place in the business moving forward, Lopez replied, “Yes, of course, there will always be a place for human translation. Ultimately, you want to have an arsenal of workflows at your disposal, each with a different level of human effort and machine effort.”
It is toward expanding this arsenal that e2f acquired UK-based app localization specialist, Applingua, whose service range includes metadata localization, QA, and app-store copywriting.
Michel Lopez, CEO, e2f will be at SlatorCon Remote on December 1, 2021 for a moderated group discussion, where the audience will be invited to express their views and network.
To be useful to everyone, today’s devices need to be trained on conversational data at the most basic level, human to human. e2f is at the forefront of working toward a more inclusive AI that can interact with anyone regardless of dialect and accent.
“Insofar as we are playing a larger role in natural language, our services and annotation platform are increasingly important for companies in developing their conversational AI,” Lopez said, adding that current clients who are exploring new ways to engage their customers will also be able to benefit from e2f’s expanding technology.
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Up Next in 2022
Having almost fully completed the integration of Applingua — with Founder and CEO, Rob Lo Bue, now serving as VP of Strategic Initiatives at e2f and the rest of the team folded into the organization — e2f is now able to increase its footprint with translation platform partners.
According to e2f CEO Lopez, “It was our first acquisition and a very successful one, as the revenue generated by Applingua’s clients is up considerably in 2021. By combining our client bases, we are close to reaching the critical mass necessary to market new products and services, while justifying the associated investments.”
On further M&A opportunities, Lopez described e2f as “actively looking.” He said, “Our ideal targets are smaller LSPs with a solid and diversified client base, particularly on the marketing side; or companies bringing an interesting service or technology that will complement our offering.”
e2f’s roadmap for 2022 comprises two major paths, Lopez said: “On the data for AI side, we are improving our data annotation platform in order to be able to handle more types of workflows and data formats.
“On the localization side, we are working on a brand-new range of technology-enabled services and products that will be launched next year. In order to get there, we are expanding our development team and keep refining our product vision.”
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