These are exciting times for the translation and localization industry, and the world is taking notice. It was listed among the seven fastest-growing industries for investment in 2016. Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine alike have listed translation services among the hottest industries for starting up a business. So a lot is happening, and some of the newest developments got recently reported by Slator, the language industry intelligence platform established just last year. We caught up with Slator’s founders Florian Faes and Andrew Smart to tell us about themselves, their plans, and how they keep their finger on the pulse of the language industry.
1. First off, tell us about Slator and the people behind it.
We created Slator as a source for news and analysis on the large, complex language services and technology markets. We report on the demand drivers, funding, talent and technology that are transforming the industry. Slator is headquartered in Zurich and has a presence in Singapore and Manila.
2. What was the idea behind founding Slator? What space do you aim to fill? What information is your focus?
We see the language services and tech markets as fascinating and growing rapidly. Our goal is to analyze this highly fragmented sector where companies are merging, acquiring competitors and developing new technologies. We aim to break news and provide analysis on new investments, technology disruption and talent moves. We are here to make sense of it all and to enable our readers to make better business decisions.
3. Who is your target audience?
Slator serves the clients, vendors, business leaders, investors and talent of the language services and technology industries. Our readership is growing fast and is already well-distributed geographically, with a healthy representation in the major markets and readership in over 100 countries.
4. You are often the first to report some major industry news. How do you keep your “ear to the ground?” What sources do you use?
We’d like to think that our experience in both media and the language services sector helps us pick the relevant topics quickly. We monitor a variety of sources and leading companies and, as more people see the integrity of our coverage, they are increasingly emailing us story ideas and breaking news.
5. You cover a lot about M&A activities and funding in the industry. What trends do you see there?
Investment activity in the industry is increasing across the board, from start-up funding to technology investments, acquisitions and secondary market actions. It is driving innovation and consolidation. There are a number of potentially disruptive start-ups. On the other end, the largest language service providers are going to have to continue to invest in acquisitions or a large sales force if they want to maintain growth. Whether they manage to finance this internally or through partnering with private-equity firms depends on the company.
6. What are you plans for Slator? Where do you see yourselves in a year or two in terms of activities?
Right now we are focusing on building our audience in major markets by providing relevant, actionable information to our readers and by helping our clients increase their visibility and develop new business. As the business expands, we might look to accelerate our growth through seed investment in a year or so.