Trint, the AI-powered translation service, closes $4.5M Series A

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Trint, the London-based translation startup co-founded by Emmy-winning journalist Jeff Kofman, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding.

The round includes follow-on investment from Horizons Lab, the Hong Kong-based seed fund operated by the managers of Horizons Ventures, with participation from TechNexus, and The Associated Press.

It brings total funding for Trint to $7.8 million since the company’s founding in December 2014. Original backers include Google Digital News Innovation Fund and the Knight Enterprise Fund.

Counting some of the world’s largest media organizations as customers — including The Associated Press, Vice News, The Washington Post, and Der Spiegel — Trint uses machine learning and speech-to-text technology to automate transcribing, which is a significant pain-point for journalists and other content producers, such as video makers.

The web-based software also combines an audio/video player and text editor, with the outputted transcription synced to the audio player’s playhead. This then makes it easy to manually correct any mistranslations, which, in turn, helps Trint get smarter. There’s an iPhone app too, for mobile translation of phone calls and recordings.

I’ve used the software a number of times in my own work and found the automation to be fairly accurate. However, as with similar systems, it is quite dependent on the audio quality you feed into it.

On that note, Trint says it will use the additional funding to enhance the AI translation software and enable customers to extract more value from recorded audio and video and unlock what it describes as “the emerging voice economy”.

Over the next few months, the company will launch collaboration features to suit the workflow of large teams working with audio and video. The idea is to enable teams to work together on editing transcripts and publishing content.

Trint will also release a new video player with interactive transcript features, so that recorded content can be “searchable, discoverable, and shareable” online.

“We’ve created Trint to go far beyond automated transcription, building the world’s first enterprise product for managing the workflow of the spoken word,” says Trint founder Kofman. “Trint is focused on serving the needs of video production, brands, news organizations and researchers, allowing them to unlock the value of the spoken word like never before”.

Meanwhile, since launch Trint has grown from 4 to 45 employees. This includes opening a North American headquarters in Toronto where 7 employees are posted.

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