Startup of the Day: Czech localization platform Localazy
Founded by Vacláv Hodek in 2020, Localazy provides a continuous translation management platform that strives to make the localization and translation process efficient and easiest. It supports a wide variety of third-party integrations, frameworks, and a comprehensive range of formats through its developer-friendly command line interface (CLI). The startup also offers various automated professional translation services and built-in machine translations.
Currently, the company operates in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and some European countries. In June 2023, Localazy announced its second investment of €0.5 million from JIC Ventures, Garage Angels, and 12Bullets. In total, it raised €1 million for the development of the product. The startup’s current valuation is €4.5 million.
In the Startup of the Day column, Vacláv Hodek, founder and CEO of Localazy, shares more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.
Tell us about your startup. How does it work?
Imagine you have a product that helps people solve their problems, but they actually cannot use it because of a language barrier. Let the real story answer this question.
For 76-year-old Raskiya Bala, it was an extremely strenuous task to ask her granddaughter for help every time she wanted to make a phone call. Save for the fact that phone calls were actual lifesavers then, Raskiya would not have owned a phone. The Hausa native and Non-English speaker had to wait for her phone and service provider’s features to be translated before she could access them.
Localazy is a continuous translation management platform that strives to make the localization and translation process efficient and enjoyable for your project. It supports a wide variety of third-party integrations, frameworks and a comprehensive range of formats through its developer-friendly command line interface (CLI) and API.
Inside the platform, we also offer various automated professional translation services and built-in machine translations. We want to change the way people approach localization, with emphasis on automation while maintaining quality.
How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?
Before Localazy, I ran a software development agency, and we produced mobile apps for the worldwide markets. Some of our apps were really successful, reaching over 15 million downloads. From the very beggining, localization was a huge part of their success, demonstrated with such achievements as having the Japanese market to be the second best one after the US (obviously). And you can’t reach the Japanese market without proper localization.
However, keeping actively developed apps translated into 30+ languages was a demanding task, and existing tools helped but didn’t mitigate the pain we went through with keeping updated translations for ever-changing texts. We even developed our own tools to assist us and save us time and money.
All these ideas eventually became a basis for what is now Localazy.
How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?
The idea for Localazy formed in my mind for a couple of years as I struggled with the localization of my mobile apps using existing solutions. It took us about one year to get to the MVP — the first version of Localazy that really helped our customers to get their mobile apps (we focused on mobile apps for the MVP) localized into more languages.
When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?
We launched Localazy in April 2020, and back then, it was a much smaller service mostly aimed at developers of mobile apps. It eventually became the solution it is now: a localization platform that helps various customers save their time and money and bring their products and services to more users around the world.
Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?
Localazy has several revenue streams:
- Our core service is SaaS, meaning that you can get all the amazing features that make the localization of your product or service easy for a monthly/annual subscription.
- We can also help with professional human translations or delivery of localized files, and both of these services are paid on a usage-based basis
What are your target markets and consumers?
We already have customers worldwide, and we are mostly present in European and US markets. However, we also have many customers from Asia, Latin America, and Australia. From single developers to enterprises, we help all types of companies with digital products and services.
If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated.
There are several different metrics we watch depending on who’s involved. For me, as CEO, typical SaaS metrics such as MRR/ARR, churn, ARPU, LTV are important. We’ve already reached profitability, so I’m mostly having my eyes on cash flow.
From the product perspective, we collect a lot of feedback from our customers and analyze how users are interacting with Localazy, what the bottlenecks are, and how we could remove them.
From the marketing perspective, there are hard metrics such as CAC:LTV as well as the softer ones, such as number of community interactions.
What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.
Our fully remote team consists of about 10 core members. The fully remote mode needs a bit of different approach, and we have found a great way how to cooperate effectively together using many different tools — Slack, ClickUp, Fibery, Around, Miro and so on.
Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.
Since launching, we have closed two early-stage investment rounds. The first one from Lighthouse Ventures; the second one consists of Lighthouse Ventures, 12 Bullets, JIC Ventures & Garage Angels. Our current valuation is €4.5 million.
What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.
There are over 4 billion people online behind language barriers, and we strive to improve their quality of life via better understanding in terms of language and cultural alignment of products.
Our goal is to become the best solution whenever you need to bring your product or service into more languages. But beyond that, we don’t only want to be the solution for translating your texts, but the resource that helps you to actually reach success in foreign markets.
We are still very early in the game and keep improving Localazy to serve our customers even better. In everything we do, we focus on our core principles of automating the localization process, keeping the users in the control seat, and providing them with a clear UI.
It’s a challenging task, as we have several different users using the service – developers, translators, managers – and each of them is expecting Localazy to do a job that is a little bit different in every case.