The allure of low- and no-code SaaS companies for investors shows no sign of waning. Taking its turn in the limelight is Paris-based no-code website localization tech provider, Weglot, which has secured a EUR 45m (USD 49.4m) investment from Partech Growth.
The Paris- and San Francisco-based investment firm, which invested through Partech Growth II Fund, announced the investment on March 24, 2022.
Founded in 2016, Weglot scaled to annual recurring revenues (ARR) of EUR 10m (USD 11m) at the end of 2021. The percentage stake acquired by Partech and the valuation for Weglot were undisclosed.
At the core of Weglot is a website and app translation solution, offered through a monthly or yearly SaaS subscription. Weglot uses machine translation (MT) for the first pass, while its dashboard allows users to order professional translators or assign their own translator to refine the MT output using Weglot’s post-editing features. The company promises to reduce the time it takes to manage a website translation project to a matter of days.
Weglot mainly serves small and midsize companies, including e-commerce websites, as well as enterprise clients. Weglot’s co-Founder and CEO, Augustin Prot, told Slator that its customer base includes names such as IBM, Microsoft, Spotify, Steve Madden, and Volcom. Customers can hook up their content management systems (CMS) to Weglot, enabling content to flow back and forth between Weglot and systems such as WordPress, Shopify, and Webflow, etc.
Weglot’s investment from Partech is the company’s second outside investment to date after its EUR 0.45m (USD 0.5m) 2017 seed round, which was led by SIDE Capital. The fresh funds will be used for further development of Weglot’s solution, expansion, and adding to Weglot’s current 30-person team, which is led by Prot and co-Founder Rémy Berda (CTO).
Doubling Down on Translation Market
Bruno Crémel, General Partner at Partech Growth, told Slator that Partech’s interest in the area of website localization is underpinned by increasing demand and the opportunity to automate more of the process. He explained: “a large and growing group of companies require localization services. But localization is a painful process, currently little automated and still files-based.”
Crémel described Weglot as “a strong, product-led organization” and said its approach addresses a number of process shortcomings, for example by enabling web pages to be translated “on the fly, which eliminates the need to have developers in the loop, saving time and valuable resources.”
Weglot is not Partech’s first foray into the language industry. Among the more-than-200 companies in Partech’s portfolio is Worders, a Paris-based language service provider (LSP), founded in 2013, which received investment from the Partech Seed Fund in 2016.
Crémel said Partech’s double-investment in the language industry highlights its “long-established conviction that the localization market is an attractive one, powered by strong tailwinds such as globalization and the emergence of dedicated new-generation facilitators (e.g., Shopify for e-commerce) that help companies sell internationally earlier in their development.”
He elaborated: “This conviction [is] concretized in our investment in Worders in the past and today in Weglot. The strong exposure to the localization space gained through our portfolio is also what helped us understand the Weglot solution.”
Weglot’s Prot called the Partech investment a “significant milestone” and said it will allow Weglot to scale further in the web translation market. Although Weglot remains focused on web translation, Prot said Weglot’s technology can also be applied to apps and products such as SaaS portals. “The company is currently working on better addressing these opportunities, and this could be a path for expansion in the coming years,” he added.
Another notable bet on the website localization space happened in 2021, when US-based private equity firm, Lightview Capital, invested in Motionpoint, taking a controlling stake in the company together with management. Motinopoint also has a laser focus on website localization and, at USD 50m in 2021 revenues, is currently several times larger than Weglot.
Crémel will join Weglot’s board along with Partech’s André François-Poncet.