AI agency Unbabel has acquired tech-enabled language service provider Lingo24. According to Unbabel CEO, Vasco Pedro, the deal closed on December 16, 2021.
The CEO told Slator that the acquisition will allow Unbabel to “expand beyond customer service faster and deliver a more comprehensive multilingual solution for customer experience, starting with the first touchpoint in the customer journey: marketing content.”
Pedro declined to comment on purchase price, valuation, revenues, and other financial terms of the deal. He did say, however, that the Lingo24 brand will remain over the short term “to support the ongoing activities that drive growth in its target sectors.”
The two companies had no business relationship prior to the deal, he said, describing Lingo24’s UVP as a “highly customizable solution” that addresses the demand for multilingual content, such as product descriptions, user guides, websites, software, as well as app localization.
Both Unbabel and Lingo24 integrate with CRM / CMS platforms, including Salesforce and WordPress, and plug into a customer’s existing workflows for multilingual marketing, he added.
The Unbabel CEO described the deal as “the next step toward cementing the Language Operations category, which will help businesses implement a unified language strategy.”
He explained, “Earlier this year, Unbabel unveiled Language Operations (LangOps) as its own category that enables businesses to centralize and scale multilingual capabilities across their organization. Lingo24 comes with a wealth of customer relationships and experience delivering for enterprise customers, with a strong focus on the marketing space. This acquisition propels Unbabel’s LangOps success by adding the marketing use-case to the platform.”
Pedro shared his excitement over LangOps with the SlatorPod audience back in May: “For a lot of people maybe this is a fairly obvious thing, but for me, this is […] a category that enables the growth of localization. I am seeing the same shift happening in companies […] going from a siloed approach to something that has structure and strategic value for a company as they scale. I think it makes a lot of sense because, as physical barriers come down more and more, especially with Covid-19, language becomes a bigger barrier.”
Lingo24 clients include Patagonia, Schneider Electric, Eventbrite, UPS, and Virgin Pulse; while Unbabel counts Panasonic, Microsoft, Booking.com, and Udemy as part of its client portfolio.
As previously reported, Unbabel became the language industry’s most well-funded startup back in 2019 (since bested by Smartling, which just raised USD 160m), closing a USD 60m series C that brought total funds raised to USD 91m.
Unbabel has gone on to become one of the success stories from the wave of language industry startups of the 2010s; and among the most prominent examples of an AI agency. Its acquisition of Lingo24 takes Unbabel deeper into conventional language services and adds a significant client roster that would have otherwise taken considerable business development to build.