Localise, a startup Uber and Microsoft use to translate their websites, just raised $1.1 million

LocaliseLocaliseThe Localise team. From left to right: Chris Zieba, Joshua Berk, Hunter Hastings, Brandon Paton. Not pictured: Johnny Wu

Getting your startup off the ground is the hardest part.

But once you gain traction, you have to start thinking about more complex issues, like building a payment processing system and deciding what data centres you’re going to use.

Some companies build those kind of products from scratch. Having it all in house is referred to as a “full-stack startup.”

But for many companies, building these kinds of products from scratch takes too long and requires too many resources. So startups outsource needs to other companies like Stripe for payment collection and processing and Amazon Web Services for web servers and hosting.

A new startup called Localise wants to help companies outsource their international efforts. Specifically, Localise helps translate apps and websites into other languages, and it just raised $US1.1 million to accomplish that mission. It’s similar to a service offered by language learning company Duolingo, which translates websites like Buzzfeed and CNN into other languages.

“Companies need to go international and they need to translate their products, but focusing on building that infrastructure is not a great use of their resources,” Localise CEO Brandon Paton says. “We’d rather have companies outsourcing so they can focus on their core product.”

Localise’s investors include
FG Angels Kima, zPark, and Matchstick Ventures, and the money it raised will be used to grow Localise’s five-person team and scale its platform.

“At the end of the day, companies are really good at building products to solve a problem that they’re solving. They’re not really good at doing stuff around that; they don’t want to build a payment processing system. They don’t want to build their own data centres,” Paton says. “They just want to focus on building their core value proposition. Services like Stripe and AWS let companies outsource their core infrastructure so they can focus on their main product. That’s where we see Localise fitting in.”

Localise started in 2012 as a small side project for Paton, who was working at another language learning company, Verbling. Paton later quit his job and started Localise with Johnny Wu and Joshua Berk. The three took Localise through the TechStars accelerator program in New York City earlier this year, then moved to San Francisco.

Localise has 300 clients, including fast-growing startups like Uber and WeWork, who rely on its services. Uber uses Localise for driver recruitment throughout Europe; WeWork, which is expanding its international footprint, is another Localise customer. Microsoft uses Localise for its gaming systems in other countries.

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