FORTUNE – Smartling, a translation technology company, has raised a Series D round of funding worth around $25 million led by Iconiq Capital Partners, bringing the company’s total funding to $63.1 million.
In October 2013, the New York-based startup raised $24 million in a Series C funding round led by Tenaya Capital, alongside Harmony Partners and existing investors Venrock, U.S. Venture Partners, IDG Ventures, First Round Capital and Felicis Ventures. All existing investors participated in the latest round. The new investment will go toward expanding the company’s sales and marketing efforts, opening its own international offices.
Founded in 2009 by former SheSpeaks and eMusic executive Jack Welde, Smartling sells enterprise software that helps companies manage their messages across many platforms and regions as they globalize. The company has expanded its offerings beyond basic translation to a comprehensive suite of software, integrating with anything from WordPress to Powerpoint to allow companies to translate their materials with one click, thus cutting out the process of “recoding” a website for new geographies. The company also helps companies manage their content with global data centers.
So far, Smartling’s offerings have been well-received: The company works with 350 customers ranging from Fortune 500 conglomerates to tech startups seeking global expansion. Smartling counts Nokia
, Pinterest, Sony
, and Tesla Motors
among its customers. It has grown revenue by 2.5x year-over-year on a lean staff of 125, Welde says.
Smartling outsources its translation work to a network of 1500 to 2000 professional freelance translators and 200 boutique translation agencies. But the company’s secret sauce is in its platform, which makes the translation of ever-changing content, into apps, social media, documents, marketing materials and websites, less cumbersome to manage. “We’re not trying to capture the services revenue,” Welde says.
Rather, Smartling sees itself as a SaaS platform not unlike Salesforce
. “If you look at how modern companies are built today, they’ll build on a typical stack, that might include Marketo for email marketing, Stripe for payments, Salesforce for sales and CRM, WordPress for your CMS, and Amazon Web Services for hosting. So where is globalization component? I think that’s Smartling,” he says. “I’d like to see Smartling be a very modern part of the typical stack,” Welde added.
The company is working toward an IPO, which is likely once it passes the $100 million revenue mark, Welde says. (He would not comment on Smartling’s current revenue.) If Smartling succeeds, it will do so by taking a page from Martin Mikos of open source pioneer MYSQL, who famously said he planned to shrink the database market from $8 billion to $3 billion and take a third of it. Translation services is a $34 billion market. Says Welde, “If this is done well, there’s an opportunity for the market to become smaller, because it gets more efficient.”
Iconiq Capital is a family office investment firm, which has become an increasingly active startup investor. The firm participated in several high profile deals of late: It led a $160 million round of investment into Automattic, the operator of WordPress. And it participated in the $40 million Series D round for Sprinklr, a social media technology company. Iconiq also backed Netshoes, a Brazilian ecommerce company which recently raised $170 million.