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Smartling gets $10M to expand crowdsourced translations

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Smartling, a New York City-based start-up focused on enabling websites and apps to go multilingual, has raised $10 million to ramp up its localization tools. Previous investors U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and First Round Capital have all chipped in for the series B funding round and are joined by IDG Ventures.

Smartling, which counts Foursquare, Scribd, IMVU and SurveyMonkey among its customers, offers a way for websites and apps to quickly and easily add additional language support. Customers can rely on machine language translation tools provided through Google (s goog) or Microsoft(s msft), or they can use Smartling to hire professional translators to localize their products. But Smartling’s real power comes in its software platform, which allows a publisher to recruit its own user community to help take a site multilingual.

Smartling allows publishers to engage their users to crowdsource translations using an editing platform that breaks down each piece of content for translation. Publishers can supplement or enhance their community’s translation work with machine translations or professional translators. Turning on Smartling’s software allows websites to go multilingual much quicker than if a publisher undertook the job itself. IMVU, for example, was able to add 14 languages in three weeks. Smartling now serves up half a billion page views of translated content a month.

The company, which raised $4 million in funding last year, is banking on the fact that many sites are looking to grow internationally but are often hampered by existing translation tools. Large sites have been able to grow by offering multiple languages, but for many medium-sized and fledgling sites and apps, being able to easily extend language support can help them tap into a much broader international market.