Systran Acquired by French Data Processing Specialist ChapsVision

ChapsVision Acquires Systran

On January 11, 2024, French data processing company ChapsVision announced that it had acquired machine translation-focused language services provider (LSP) Systran, now the “automatic translation brick” in ChapsVision’s network. Financial details related to the deal were not disclosed.

Systran’s ownership structure has evolved over the years, from its 1960s California origins to a period of being publicly traded on the French stock exchange. 

As of 2020, Systran was 51%-owned by South Korean firm STIC Investments. SoftBank Korea, Korea Investment Partners, and Korea Investment Securities jointly owned 42% of Systran shares, and LlsoLlu held the remaining 7%. 

Systran CEO Vincent Godard explained to Slator that the investment funds owning Systran mandated Rothschild & Co to find new investors at the end of 2022. 

So, what exactly about Systran appealed to ChapsVision, whose growth strategy has seen 19 acquisitions completed since its 2019 founding?

Systran will now provide in-house knowledge and experience related to language processing, Godard explained.

Systran got a headstart thanks to some common ground, in the form of shared clients, mainly in the government space.

“The ability to translate data is […] critical, for government customers as well as for enterprises,” Godard said. “In addition, the international presence of Systran is a big plus to help ChapsVision go global.”

Indeed, Systran’s technology covers 55 languages and more than 150 dialects. 70% of Systran’s revenues come from abroad, with subsidiaries in the US, South Korea, and Japan. 

Godard cited a few traits of its machine translation technology that helped win over ChapsVision; namely security, customizability, integrated tools, and performance, especially for high volumes and up to thousands of users.

Beating LLM Providers

“As a matter of fact, the rise of LLMs [large language models] had little impact on our activity in 2023,” Godard remarked. “We are used to beat[ing] LLM providers on all these topics.”

ChapsVision’s most recent acquisitions have run the gamut. In 2023 the company bought up Qwam Content Intelligence, which offers text data analysis technology; Geotrend, a specialist in economic intelligence; and ACIC, which provides software for video surveillance.  

According to the press release, ChapsVision has nearly 700 employees, 600 major accounts, and a target revenue of more than EU 200m (USD 219.5m) for 2024. The company has raised over EUR 190m (USD 208.5m) to date in two funding rounds with repeat participation from Bpifrance and Tikehau Capital, among others. ChapsVision also counts investment fund Qualilum among its investors, which, in turn, is invested in Super Agency Acolad.