A lot can happen in a year and, true to form, the language industry has seen numerous notable and consequential events in the last 12 months.
Slator’s Key Events Timeline provides a snapshot of key events from April 2022 to May 2023, covering six significant areas of interest: Funding, M&A, People Moves, LLM events, Product Launches, and Slator Releases.
The key event categories are color-coded and labeled with a corresponding symbol. This infographic forms part of Slator’s 2023 Language Industry Market Report.
Key M&A events included TransPerfect’s acquisition of Hiventy, LanguageLine buying Capita TI, and Unbabel acquiring EVS. Significant CEO appointments occurred at Smartling, Phrase, Appen, Acolad, and Welocalize.
On the funding side, the last year saw Lilt raise USD 55m, Papercup raise USD 20m, Speechmatics raise USD 62m, the multilingual AI writer Jasper being valued at USD 1.5bn, Deepgram raise USD 72m, and the period ending with investors valuing DeepL at USD 1bn+.
LLMs stole the show this year with several key developments throughout 2022 and early 2023. Google released PaLM in April 2022 followed by Hugging Face announcing BLOOM in July which Cambrian AI analyst Alberto Romero declared “the most important AI model in the last decade.”
OpenAI’s Whisper made its debut in September and ChatGPT’s release followed before the 2022 year was up. Meta AI released LlaMA in February 2023 after which there was a flurry of releases with OpenAI’s launch of the Whisper API, Microsoft revealing VALL-EX, OpenAI announcing GPT-4, and Microsoft releasing their 365 Copilot all in quick succession.
But LLMs were not the only notable launches over the last year and several other releases caught our eye. In June, Zoom launched real-time translation for business users. Also thinking business-wide, Google unveiled their enterprise-scale translation service (Translation Hub) in October 2022.
Taking the dubbing scene by storm, popular YouTuber MrBeast launched his own dubbing company in February 2023 as YouTube released multi-language audio. Finally, in May 2023 HuggingFace joined the GPT chat race by announcing HuggingChat.
At Slator, we hit our own milestones with the 2023 Language Service Provider Index as the most extensive LSPI yet. Slator also released the AI 50 under 50 List displaying the most exciting language AI companies founded in the last fifty months. Most recently, we published the Slator 2023 Language Industry Market Report.
Late-breaking stories not covered in the timeline infographic include the release of PaLM 2, OpenAI’s trademarking of GPT, Appen’s appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer and Akorbi naming Harrison Tucker as their new CFO. Other noteworthy events include Lionbridge’s multi-year agreement with TMS Phrase, Flexword’s acquisition of exact!, and Microsoft’s decision to shut down its Translator Toolkit.
Slator’s monthly Language Industry Data and News Briefings also highlight key events from the previous 30 days. Here you’ll find the top Slator stories for that month, our favorite SlatorPod quotes, all the latest hires at LSPs and localization buyers, financial results, company KPIs, and notable product developments.