Found in translation: Why we invested in Lokalise

Mina Mutafchieva
Dec 14, 2021 · 3 min read

It’s fitting that my first trip after a worldwide lockdown was to meet the team helping digital products go global. Having missed my morning flight to Lisbon (a PCR-test related snafu) and scrambled to still make it there a few hours later than planned, there I was — on a sunny rooftop, finally face to face with Lokalise’s co-founders.

It wasn’t my first meeting with these impressive entrepreneurs. We’ve known the founders Nick (CEO/CTO) and Petr (CRO) for over a year, and have stayed in close contact with them since the first time we spoke in the spring of 2020. We’ve seen their product grow from a key developer tool for embedding localisation into the development cycle, into the only end-to-end collaboration and management platform for translation and localisation. All the more impressive because the team bootstrapped for the first few years. And it’s allowed them to focus on what matters: building a product that sells itself.

Localisation — where content is translated and customised for different markets — has long been a slow, manual, dreaded process, and always left to the last minute. You’re ready to ship, but left waiting on a new button to be translated.

So the main competition is not another tool, it’s the process itself. With multiple stakeholders involved across product, design, engineering and translation, all in separate workflows, most companies simply find localisation too difficult: they don’t know how to start, feel like they don’t have the expertise or fall back on solutions that aren’t fit for purpose.

Lokalise speeds up the whole process by 90% and creates a single source of truth. The platform brings developers, designers, translators and product teams together — making collaboration easy and connecting the workflow end to end. Translators can use the built-in translation memory, machine translation and QA checks to reduce re-work and ensure quality, designers can use Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD plugins to preview designs in different languages, developers can automate routine tasks, and product managers can sync workflows and ship faster — with localisation woven in throughout.

So while the $3.2 billion — and growing — market for localisation tools is still taking shape, Lokalise looks ready to re-define it and make sure that localization is getting on every company’s agenda. And it shows. Lokalise has more than 2,500 customers, from fast-growing SMEs eager to scale to global direct-to-consumer brands like Revolut, Hyundai, and Monday.com.

Having already built many businesses separately and together, Nick and Petr know the challenges of bringing a digital product to market and are perfectly placed to help other businesses do the same, but faster. They’ve scaled the company to over 180 people across 35 countries, forming a top notch team around themselves to help realise their vision. We will continue to strengthen this fantastic team with senior talent across Marketing, Sales, Engineering, and People.

With this latest round, the ambition is clear — define the localisation tools market and become the reference platform for continuous localisation. This includes making it easy for every other localisation tool to integrate into the Lokalise platform. It also means creating a localisation academy to help educate users and allow them to share best practices, and build a marketplace for language service providers on top of the platform — a collaborative community for better translation and localisation.

We are proud to be investing in their $50m Series B round alongside CRV and Creandum, as well as existing investors Mike Chalfen, 3VC and S16 VC.

By eliminating the hassle of localisation, Nick, Petr and the team are developing a new part of the fabric for global, digital businesses — helping teams launch products and serve customers in new markets faster than ever. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them on their journey.

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