A Chat with Yair Tal, CEO at Localization Platform: BLEND

BLEND is an end-to-end localization platform for global brands seeking to increase multimarket revenue and build deeper relationships with new audiences. We harness the power of AI-driven technologies and a global community of language experts and voice talent to deliver complex, continuous localization at scale.

We’re headquartered in Tel Aviv, with additional offices in Atlanta, Bucharest, Kyiv, Shanghai, and Los Angeles. We have an experienced, international team to help companies enter fundamentally different markets with local credibility, nuance, and impact.

Formerly known as OneHourTranslation, we’ve been in business for over 12 years. Rebranding as BLEND more than a year ago, we’ve expanded our original eCommerce business into comprehensive services for the enterprise. It’s an exciting space that puts us at the forefront of AI, multimedia, and a market environment that increasingly depends on an interconnected world.

What do you think makes this company unique?

BLEND is unique in the localization industry because we’re a single-source provider combining the advantages of human experts with machine translation innovations. Some localization companies are defined in the industry as language service providers (LSPs), meaning they maintain a community of translators and linguists to work on your projects. Others are more focused on the technology or translation management systems (TMS), which automate many localization processes. BLEND is a kind of both, but really neither.

We work with a community of 25,000+ global linguists, so we match customers with the right human experts for their content type, language, and industry, but our platform also integrates with the most notable TMS and computer-assisted translation (CAT) engines in the market, so we harness technology to localize at scale while adapting to the customer’s tech stack and workflows. It’s a best-of-both-worlds approach.

In addition, we also offer in-house voice localization services, fulfilled through our recording studios and roster of 1,000+ contracted voice actors. Other LSPs and post-production/content distribution providers sub-contract this work, meaning we can deliver multimedia services—translation, narration, dubbing, subtitling—all under one roof, quickly, and with one team overseeing every project.

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

BLEND used to be a project-based company with an amazing online service for uploading documents and allocating it to a freelancer for quick translation. However, it wasn’t a model geared for B2B, ongoing projects. With our rebrand, we revised our mission—we were going to take companies hand in hand to succeed in new markets. And growing in new markets isn’t a one-time or one-project event.

Whether it’s a website, video library, or online advertising, there’s an ongoing need for language support. You need to develop AI tools to be consistent with your content, you need to build a team that will familiarize itself with your brand, find the right machine translation and TMS, and so on.

As you dive into the localization and the whole concept of building a local brand, you see that it’s like a science; you really need to understand the nuances of the client’s business. We decided that that’s where we wanted to be—working with companies on an ongoing basis, getting them integrated with our API, receiving and processing data, sending content to our translator community, and getting it back to the customer quickly. All the while, using the project to refine our machine and get ready for the next project. Our hard work these past few years has been focused on this mission.

What can we hope to see from BLEND in the future?

A greater commitment to our technology and platform. The more we dive into the product side of the business, and the more we’re able to add technology to our platform, the more we’ll be able to solve the next great pain for our customers. On our services side, there are still lots of things we can add to complete our localization offering. But when it comes to technology, when we’re able to complete an integration and solve another aspect of the technology for our customers, I know that we’re securing our business and preventing customers from shopping around for other localization providers.

Of course, I’d also like to see more big names and logos reaching out to our mid-size company. There are many extra-large providers in our industry, but many choose us. It’s flattering, but it’s also building the roadmap of the standards we need to meet because we want to serve more big logos. Any time prospects see a big name choosing BLEND, they know we’re doing something right. So, anything we do to develop more solutions, be more secure, and more instrumented to serve these companies, that’s what excites me about BLEND’s future.


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