Germany’s Translation Tech Firm DeepL Becomes Latest AI Unicorn

DeepL, translation, AI, funding, investments

German startup DeepL reached a 1 billion euro ($1.085 billion) valuation following its latest funding round.

Although the total amount raised has not been disclosed, the billion-euro figure has been widely reported after Techcrunch broke the news on Wednesday (Jan. 11).

Since the company was founded in 2009, DeepL has emerged as one of the most disruptive players in the machine translation space with a product that rivals even Google’s technology. According to its website, in blind tests, professional translators rated DeepL’s translations as three times better than those of its competitors such as Google, Microsoft and Meta.

And while the company offers a free online translation service, it saves its most advanced technology for those who pay via a translation-as-a-service model for businesses.

Currently, the company states on its website that it boasts 20,000 business clients, which can access its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered translation services via a web translator, browser extensions, desktop and mobile apps, and an application programming interface (API) that allows them to embed the technology into their own software.

After years of resource-intensive research and development, in recent times, AI startups have begun to develop commercially viable products, helping the likes of OpenAI hit the mainstream consciousness while fueling speculation that it could be bought out by Microsoft for as much as $29 billion.

Should such a deal go ahead, it would represent a pivotal moment for the AI industry and the most ever paid for an AI startup.

While $29 billion is at the top end of the scale, billion-dollar-plus valuations have now become routine in the sector.

November was an especially active month for AI investments, thanks to Astera Labs’ $150 million Series D, a $139.06 million raise by Microsoft spinoff XiaoIce Technology and a $117 million Series F round secured by Locus Robotics.

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