Media Localizer Dotsub Shuts Down, Blames ‘Liquidity Situation’

Dotsub Ceases Operations

Media localization company Dotsub has ceased operations. The company’s website features an (undated) message from the company’s executive chairman and founder Michael Smolens, where he apologizes “for not being able to communicate until now.” 

The message also states that “due to its current liquidity situation, the company has determined that it cannot go forward as an operating entity.”

The firm’s LinkedIn profile remains online and has not been updated to reflect the situation as of June 21, 2023, but the latest posts date back to March 2023. Dotsub’s posts on Twitter also date back to March 2023, and the company’s ProZ profile was last updated on May 7, 2023.

The company appeared to still be doing business as usual as recently as March 2023. That is when the website’s last full version was still running, according to Web Archive.

Dotsub was founded in 2007 by Smolens, and it was his ninth startup, according to his profile on a fundraising site. Based in New York City, the company had given no signals of being in financial trouble, with CEO Dave Bryant speaking to Slator about new jobs in the language industry for the AI era as recently as May 2023. 

The company had in its client portfolio a few tech giants like Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, and held five patents for its technology, a “method for rendering text onto moving image content.” The patents were assigned to the company, listing Thor Sigvaldason as the inventor.

The company’s failure comes despite overall strong demand for media localization, a sector that grew 11% in 2022 (see Slator’s 2023 Language Industry Market Report) and continues to grow as firms like Zoo Digital thrive, adding USD 20m in capitalization in February 2023 and acquiring a 30% stake in AM Group in May 2023.