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XTM CEO Bob Willans on Raising Capital and the Future of Translation Pricing


XTM CEO Bob Willans on Raising Capital and the Future of Translation Pricing

XTM CEO Bob Willans joins SlatorPod to discuss the journey of the company he co-founded back in 2002. Bob talks about growing XTM with little outside funding to become a USD 11m SaaS company in 2021.

He tells us about XTM’s decision and search to bring on financial backers in 2021, which culminated in XTM’s majority sale to US-based investment firm K1 Investment Management in January 2021.

Bob shares his views on the TMS funding and investment boom in 2020, which he says had little to do with Covid (for the record), and unpacks the landmark shifts in translation management technology over the past two decades — from the advent of the cloud to the integration of neural machine translation (NMT) and AI more broadly.


Bob also talks about milestone developments in XTM’s product, including totally rewriting their translation editor at one stage, and discusses how the company balances out feature requests and customization for enterprise clients against general product enhancements.

First up, Florian and Esther run through the week’s language industry news, kicking off with some key stats from the Slator 2021 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), which features more than 175 companies on its launch in early March 2021.

The two also talk about the Language Industry Job Index (LIJI), which climbed nearly 10 points in March 2021 to match pre-Covid levels, while Florian discusses the underwhelming consumer reaction to the Apple Translate app.

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