After Selling His First Startup To Apple And Then Flying Jets, This Guy Has An Awesome New Company

Jack Welde, SmartlingJack Welde, CEO and founder, Smartling

Photo: Smartling

New York startup Smartling is solving a really tough problem for some of the world’s hottest tech companies. It lets them quickly translate their Web and mobile apps into up to 100 languages.Smartling launched about two years ago and has been growing like crazy, racking up 1,000 customers including the likes of SurveyMonkey, Path, Vimeo, Nokia, Kodak and Pratt & Whitney. 

“When I founded Smartling, the translation industry was passing around documents and spreadsheets,” Jack Welde, founder and CEO told BI. Welde was a programmer with a background in linguistics and wanted to build a translation system that “enables the same type of agile process so popular in Web development.”

Now, it’s not the only translation startup around. There are others like Duolingo, Cloudwords and myGengo. So Smartling’s claim-to-fame is automating the translation process, allowing Web apps to be converted into many different languages as fast as companies release updates to their sites or apps. It contracts with a
network of a 1,000 human translators — plus it lets companies add their own translators. Instead of passing  documents around, developers load their Websites into Smartling and the site hosts all the translated websites.

Today, the company launched a new Web app — a dashboard — to make the translation process even easier. The new app adds analytics, collaboration, project management.

Smartling is also known for its founder. Welde cut his teeth as co-founder of Trio Development which was sold to Apple in the mid ’90s. After that, he spent nine years flying jets for the Air Force and then did a stint as an exec at eMusic, the iTunes competitor.

Trio co-founder, Joseph Ansanelli, who recently joined Greylock is an investor.  So is First Round Capital, IDG Ventures, U.S. and Venture Partners and Venrock The company has raised $14 million in two rounds.

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