One Hour Translation sees sales doubling on business customers

TEL AVIV, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Israel-based One Hour Translation, which provides online professional translation of documents, expects its revenue to double annually as businesses increasingly turn to its service.

The company already serves half of the Fortune 500 companies, partners with Google in offering a translation service for apps, and each month translates 100,000 projects for 15,000 business customers.

“Our sales growth rate is close to 100 percent. Next year for sure we will continue at this pace,” the company’s general manager, Lior Libman, told Reuters. He declined to elaborate but said the five-year-old company was profitable.

“Most of our customers are businesses going to new markets or trying to submit bids or proposal,” he added, noting the global e-commerce market is worth up to $700 billion annually.

To handle the task, One Hour Translation retains 17,000 professional translators who work in 75 languages. It charges 7 cents a word for general translation and 14 cents for text requiring expertise such as medical and legal.

The process - from submitting a document to locating a translator and delivering the text to the customer - is done online through its servers and algorithms.

Contrary to the company’s name, the average document, which has four or five pages, takes eight hours to be translated. Longer documents are often divided among multiple translators.

One Hour Translation aims to stay private for now and continue to grow. It competes with California-based Gengo and of Italy, as well as offline translators.

One customer is BlueSnap, an online payment provider that hopes to get a leg up on competitor eBay’s PayPal by using One Hour Translation’s service. BlueSnap sells into 180 markets with 60 different languages.

BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier said online shoppers often abandon their shopping carts when the payment screen is not in the local language and currency. BlueSnap hopes the translation software will solve the problem.

“Many customers have told us that when they have put in the local language and currency, the abandonment rate gets reduced by 10 to 20 percent,” Dangelmaier told Reuters.

As a result of using One Hour Translation, he estimates BlueSnap has already increased revenue by about five percent, with some of its customers switching over from PayPal.