Translation startup Gengo relocates its home base, has some changes in store



Tokyo-based translation startup Gengo has recently relocated its head office to Shibuya, a district where many Japanese startups are based. The company held a press conference today to unveil how they expect to evolve the platform one step further.

CEO Robert Laing, CTO Matthew Romaine, and VP of product management Hiroto Tokusei were all present at the conference, where they proudly introduced their new office where 26 people from 12 countries are working to give their users a better experience.

From the left: VP Hiroto Tokusei, CEO Robert Laing, CTO Matthew Romaine

In the presentation, the startup revealed that they are currently working on launching a new interface, which will probably go live next month. For crowdsourced workers who typically translate large volume of texts, the startup will provide an interface that helps you use the same terminology in an entire document and check for spelling or grammatical errors. For clients who order translation requests, the platform will be able to accept business document file formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, etc., as well as plain text formats. The startup’s competitor Conyac also recently rolled out this feature on its platform back in February.

The Gengo team at its new office in Shibuya

To date, the service has been used to hire more than 8,000 crowdsourced workers, serving translation needs in 38 languages. In the last three months, they’ve transacted more than 22 million translation requests from clients in Japan and around the rest of the world. By refining the service’s interface, they hope to transact more translation orders and enhance their revenue stream.

Annual growth of translation orders using Gengo

Gengo originally launched back in late 2008, at that time under the name MyGengo. In 2010, the startup secured seed funding of $750,000 from 500 Startups, co-founder Felix Miller, Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, and ex-Value Commerce CEO Brian Nelson. Subsequently, it received $5.25 million in a series A investment round from Atomico and 500 Startups. And then this year, it also received series B funding worth $12 million from Intel Capital (US), Atomico (UK), Iris Capital (France), Infocomm Investments (Singapore), STC Ventures (Saudi Arabia), and NTT Docomo Ventures (Japan).