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Smartling acquires Jargon to help mobile developers ready their apps for international markets

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/04/2016 Lora Kolodny

Smartling, the translation tech company, has acquired TechStars alumni Jargon on Crunchbase which makes tools for mobile developers who want to “localize” their apps for different international markets, and the devices and app stores that are relevant in each one.

New York-based Smartling is known for its “translation management system” software, and marketplace of professional translators.

Its software feels a bit like a mainstream content management system like WordPress, but with features built around managing translation tasks like hiring an appropriately skilled translator, and reviewing and revising translations before publishing them where customers can see them.

According to Smartling Chief Executive and founder Jack Welde on Crunchbase, with the all-cash deal, Smartling extended job offers to Jargon’s entire team, but founder and CEO AJ Cihla is moving on to new projects.

Smartling will immediately integrate Jargon’s technology into its own cloud-based software, allowing clients to preview translated content and graphic user interface elements within their mobile apps before they are pushed out to end-users.

That can make a big difference to a U.S. company that wants to make its app available to German users, for example. Welde said, “German is kind of notorious for longer words that can throw off a beautiful app design, and in extreme cases, even break an app.”

A web page that says “404 Error — File Not Found,” in English would read “Error 404. Datei nicht gefunden das angegebene dokument konnte auf diesem server leider nicht gefundenwerden,” in German. And a button that says “Try Again,” would read “Versuch es noch einmal,” in German.

Jargon’s technology also allows companies, and now Smartling customers, to get translated apps out to customers before they even download a new version through a mobile store.

Its “over the air” updates are delivered to a mobile user’s phone via wifi or cellular connections before a company issues an entirely new app version to download.

Executives declined to disclose a price for the acquisition.

In 2014, Smartling raised $25 million in venture funding in a Series D round led by Iconiq Capital and Smartling’s earlier institutional backers First Round CapitalHarmony PartnersIDG Ventures, Tenaya Capital, U.S. Venture Partners and Venrock.

The company’s reported valuation is north of $250 million.

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