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Wheelings & Dealings: Yappn Purchases Ortsbo Patent and E-commerce Language Services Assets

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Wheelings & Dealings: Yappn Purchases Ortsbo Patent and E-commerce Language Services Assets

May 26, 2015
By Peter Bernstein
Senior Editor

For those who follow the real-time customer interactions industry closely, you are aware that along with enterprises of all sizes looking to implement omnichannel capabilities, the ability to provide multi-lingual support, particularly translations services, are a robust and growing opportunity. Indeed, many see real-time translation as a critical driver of true global Ecommerce.  It is an area occupied by such heavy weights as Microsoft (via Skype (News - Alert) and its website translation capabilities), start-ups like Verbalizeit and a host of traditional translation services which have upgraded to real-time capabilities.

The desirability of this market is illustrated by the recent announcement by one of the industry’s fast moving innovators, and Verbalizeit partner, Yappn, that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire key assets of Ortsbo Inc., a division of Intertainment Media Inc. The US $17 million (up to US $1 million in debt and US $16 million in equity) includes Intertainment’s:

  • U.S. Patent No. 8,983,850 B2
  • Proprietary language services technology assets
  • Know how related to Ecommerce and Customer Care
  • Business contracts.

The transaction and terms are subject to the execution of definitive agreements between the parties and both parties will be required to obtain all necessary approvals, including shareholder approval, if required.

According to Yappn, the additional capital will be used to roll out its global Ecommerce expansion programs to enterprises and organizations seeking to add real-time language programs to their offerings.  It enables Yappn to expand its portfolio of Ecommerce solutions which include: marketing and social media, online store and shopping carts, and online customer care in 67 languages. 

The online shopping cart area in particular is one to watch as a growth area in general as real-time multi-lingual capability has been literally and figuratively a missing link in creating close to frictionless global transactional capabilities.

"We are very excited with the progress of Yappn both as a technology and as a revenue generating business," said David Lucatch, Founder and CEO of Yappn Corp. "Our line of credit team has been very supportive throughout our development and early revenue stage and the acquisition of the patent and technologies, that we have previously licensed, coupled with the agreement to engage with David Berry to lead our capital markets program, enhances opportunities and potential future value of Yappn."

Yappn has been moving quickly to expand and along with its wheelings and dealings the company is looking toward release of what it says are a number of solutions it is testing that enable single language online storefronts to effectively market, sell and support their global Etailing efforts. It also says it is expecting to soon deliver its framework for commercial revenue programs.

The goal is what is becoming a business imperative as a result of globalization, i.e., the eliminating the language barrier as a barrier to conducting business by to the extent possible limiting or obviating the need for human intervention. As noted at the top, this is a space with outstanding growth opportunities for obvious reasons since it allows commerce to become a universal language that is both efficient and effective. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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