Wyoming Multilingual Customer Support Provider Receives First Seed Round
October 11, 2019
Language I/O, a women-founded and Wyoming-based startup that was the first to embed tech inside many CRM (client relationship management) platforms allowing English-speaking help desks to provide e-support in any language, has closed a seed round for an undisclosed amount. Language I/O powers multilingual customer support for companies such as LinkedIn, Shutterstock, Constant Contact and PhotoBox, which use Language I/O to provide customer support in any language over email, chat and article translation.
The funds will allow Language I/O to more rapidly build out its artificial intelligence (AI) platform that automatically grades potential translations from the world’s best neural machine translation engines to get the highest possible translation quality in front of their customers.
The round was led by Wyoming-based seed fund Breakthrough 307 and included angels and other investors across Wyoming as well as from the Boston area. Wyoming investors especially are hopeful that by channeling funds into companies like Language I/O, they can take a step towards economic diversification in an economy that has long been dependent on oil, gas and coal.
“When I heard about this tech startup and the foothold they had in the largest enterprise tech market in the world, I couldn’t believe they were in Wyoming,” said Jerad Stack, a founder of the Casper, WY-based Breakthrough 307. “But it made sense given the business-friendly environment in our state and their ability to grow a team at a much lower cost than they could in Silicon Valley. I see huge growth potential for this company.”
Language I/O is unique in the multilingual customer service space because their solution gives customers the choice of providing professional human translation, machine translation, or a combination of the two across all e-support channels within a CRM. Language I/O recognizes that the support solutions its customers require are as unique as the customer itself.
“The proprietary technology that we were the first to develop and expand into numerous CRM platforms ensures that our customers get the best translations as quickly as possible with quality metrics to follow,” said Language I/O Co-CEO Heather Morgan Shoemaker. Co-CEO Kaarina Kvaavik said that in today’s globalized business environment, Language I/O is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must and an integral part of corporate strategies. “Our list of enterprise customers proves this. In order to continue developing this technology at a rate that will keep pace in a competitive environment, we have for the first time since our inception in 2011, decided to pursue outside investment options.”
Before closing this first round of funding, Shoemaker and Kvaavik bootstrapped the impressive growth of Language I/O. In 2017, Language I/O was deemed the fastest growing company in Wyoming by the Wyoming Business Report owing to its more than 300 percent growth in revenue over three years. Since then, Language I/O has continued to grow and is now looking to use outside investment to continue disrupting the nascent market that lies at the intersection of the outsourced translation services market (expected to grow to $56 billion by 2021) and the massive CRM market which analysists predict will see $80 billion in revenue by 2025.
"I am excited to be involved with Language I/O—a quality, high growth, women-led tech firm out of Wyoming,” said Alexander Meromcew, a Jackson, WY angel who participated in the seed round. “Too many investors are overlooking the dynamic young companies that exist in between the two coasts.”
Language I/O’s solution saves its customers between $400,000 and $1million annually on customer support costs. After using Language I/O’s software for article translation, email marketing provider Constant Contact, saw a 700 percent increase in unique visitors and a 550 percent increase on clicks of its translated web content saving the company time and resources managing customer tickets.
“We wanted to give our clients the opportunity to try the self-help solutions first and to do that, we needed to translate those articles into their language,” said Andrea Paragona, senior manager of Constant Contact’s Knowledge Base team. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in terms of those who are using the content.”
Language I/O’s solutions work within all major customer relationship management (CRM) systems including Salesforce, Oracle and Zendesk.
“We are pleased to see that the CX market is supporting/validating our key global partner Language I/O as they take their company to the next level,” said Karl Helfner, Director CX ISV Partners, Oracle Product Management. “Language I/O is a key partner in our ever growing CX ecosystem and our efforts to work with leading solution providers. Language I/O helps advanced translation solutions help our global joint customer drive better overall customer experiences.”