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Twilio Fund Winner Profile: Babelverse Bridges Language Barriers with Twilio


Building Around The Language Barrier

BabelversePhrasebooks, calls to friends who could act as language interpreters, and Google translate queries weren’t cutting it while developers Mayel and Josef were travelling abroad. The language barrier was getting the best of them and they needed a way around it.

Their solution was to build an on demand language interpreting service that connects you with a professional interpreter instantly. Using Babelverse, you can interpret videos, news articles, and websites at the click of a button.

Register for Twilio Fund Europe, our microfund supported by 500 Startups for Twilio-powered companies and products to the EU. Submissions are open now until May 1st, 2013 and we encourage you to apply now.

Babelverse is one of the three Twilio Fund winners, and is currently expanding their platform. We talked with co-founders Mayel de Borniol and Josef Dunne about how they got the idea for their company and what’s next.

Getting To Know Babelverse

Babelverse co-founders Mayel de Borniol and Josef Dunne let the idea for their company come to them. “It was like sifting for gold, it just kind of came to the surface, for many reasons. The main one being we needed it. We had a problem with language barriers and we needed a solution.”

BabelverseMayel and Josef use Twilio to power calls between customer and interpreter, as well as text updates. Having completed building out the extensive backbone of Babelverse, the two co-founders hope their company can be a technical solution to a human-centered problem.

“We want people to use Babelverse to make a human connection,” says Josef Dunne. Their goal is to eliminate the language barrier by providing readily accessible interpretation services. They currently offer interpretation in over 155 languages, and are working on providing an API for developers so they can include Babelverse’s services in their web apps.

Babelverse founders, Mayel and Josef remarked, “Communication is a human right. We believe standardization and interoperability is crucial. It would be a pity to see standards like Jabber or SIP disappear, with many apps using these technologies but running them in closed silos. There is a lesson to learn from the history of the web browser. Supporting WebRTC and SIP are great steps in the right direction.”

To learn more about Babelverse, visit their website here.

Check out other Twilio Fund winners Wedgies and Sessions.

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