Although 2017 was not an easy one for me personally, with a lot of long days and challenging tasks, it was arguably the best year for Smartcat so far.We made lots of new features and improvements, gained a number of new strategic partners from around the world, and achieved more than a six-fold increase in sales. Most importantly, we won the hearts of thousands of loyal users with our unmatched all-in-one translation ecosystem and unique “no seats” licensing policy.
Smartcat’s sales increased by 520% in 2017 while the average user registration rate reached 5,000 new users per month. Our sales growth rate was in fact already above 500% in 2016, but this was less of a challenge at the time because our baseline was considerably lower (that was the first year we started to monetize our platform). Therefore, we are thrilled to have been able to maintain this level of growth in 2017. Smartcat also had more than 500,000 unique visitors throughout the year. When you think about it, this represents a sizable portion of the total industry “population”.
We had 15 new releases with more than 150 (!) new features and improvements. Here are the most noteworthy of them:
- 58 Caracas: Website widget, LSP marketplace
- 58.2 Maracaibo: Integration with neural machine translation engines
- 59 Bolivia: More services in freelancer profiles
- 60 Malaysia: Integration with Lilt’s adaptive translation engine
- 61 Australia: Payment for any services, job board posting, ZIP archives
- 62 Indonesia: Multicurrency payments, MemoQ XLIFF, localization/documentation XMLs
- 63 Philippines: Beta support for YAML
- 64 New Zealand: Systran enterprise server integration, Japanese yen support
- 65 Singapore: XLIFF export/import for cross-platform support
We gained 15 new partners from all over the world. Turkey, South Korea, Singapore, India, and USA are just some of the additions to our growing geographical presence. Our new partners include technological and educational partners, as well as value-added resellers. There are many ways you can benefit from partnering with Smartcat — just take a look at our partnership program! Some of our partners are listed here — with more to come very soon. By the way, we are looking to add to our marketing team to manage the growing partner base and related content — come join us!
In addition to participating in 21 industry events worldwide, we also hosted four Smartcat Partner Day meetups in Turkey, Argentina, Russia, and Israel. The meetups were attended by over 300 people, including local CxOs, experts, partners, and other industry participants. We’ve already scheduled 15 Partner Days in seven countries for 2018, with the next one coming up in Boston on March 16. Let us know if you’d like to join!
For me personally, the greatest thing about 2017 was seeing the ecosystem unfold, with users cooperating with one another in different ways. For example:
- End customers and LSPs hired smaller local agencies and freelancers, preferring this scenario to working with one large vendor. Often these local agencies found freelancers on Smartcat as well.
- Freelancers introduced their customers to Smartcat for easier collaboration, invoicing, and payouts — no matter where they or their customers are located.
- Freelancers invited their colleagues to form ad hoc teams and work on big projects together. Such horizontal interactions represent a great opportunity for future growth and will bring great value to freelancers and small teams.
- LSPs added their trusted freelancers to the open marketplace to get a new source of revenue. While most LSPs stil hide their freelancers inside their accounts, some start earning together with Smartcat, contributing to the ecosystem approach and helping other users hire better talent.
- End customers and LSPs used Smartcat’s open API to augment their existing localization workflows.
In fact, Smartcat users often found out that someone they needed was already on the platform and ready to start working immediately. They were able to get their projects up and running within minutes — and thanks to our “no seats” licensing policy, they were able to work with as many collaborators as they required at no extra cost. This collaborative power and scalability was what I loved the most about Smartcat’s achievements in 2017. I want to personally thank each one of you for supporting us in our efforts to create a better translation industry where global talent, LSPs, and businesses can collaborate freely and efficiently. ❤️ Let’s rock 2018 — stay tuned and make sure to follow our updates! This post is also available on Medium.