London-based subtitle, translation, and automatic transcription provider, Subly, has closed an EUR 0.82m (USD 1m) seed round. Investors include Wayra (Spanish telco Telefónica’s innovation hub), Canada’s Loyal VC, and Czech accelerator AISI (AI Startup Incubator), as well as “several high-profile investors,” the startup announced on May 27, 2021.
The idea for Subly came to Holly Stephens, Founder & CEO, a couple of years ago when she saw a gap in the market as a consumer of online content: “I experienced the problem myself on YouTube. Then I also experienced the same problem from roles in internal comms. We needed to subtitle our videos, and we needed different languages.”
Today, Subly enjoys exponential growth with some of the top Fortune 500 companies among its clientele, Stephens told Slator. She explained that they operate on a tiered subscription model to offer a service that “makes content accessible and increases watch rate or engagement” via three core services: transcription, subtitling, and translation.
Asked what Subly’s key differentiator is, Stephens replied, “Automatic subtitles, which give the user the power to edit, style, and resize content” — and as they target everyone from “individuals to enterprise teams, packages are scalable.”
Subly’s SaaS platform actually launched just 14 months ago. The startup began generating revenue in July 2020, amid the toughest days of the pandemic. Being on lockdown helped the business, Stephens said, as “more companies needed to reach their target audience from a distance.”
According to the CEO, it was also in the middle of the pandemic that they raised GBP 0.21m (USD 0.3m), pre-seed, before closing the latest seed round “fully remote.” She added that among the investors they attracted are “executives from Vodafone and Hewlett Packard.”
At this writing, Subly has a full-time headcount of 13 located in London, Amsterdam, and Sydney. The platform currently “helps 65,000 users and 4,000 businesses,” Stephens said.
She told Slator that they will use the funds to improve their transcription and translation services as well as increase staff count across “all departments, with specific focus on [building] the technology team in the coming months.”