Global investors back subtitling startup ‘gem’

Posted on May 27, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Holly Stephens, Subly

A London startup which automatically translates and transcribes subtitles has raised £700,000 from an array of global investors. 

Subly’s software platform was launched 14 months ago by Holly Stephens, a former contractor at Google. 

It has already helped more than 65,000 creators and 7,000 businesses with a tool that is simple and designed to take what is usually a time consuming and costly process to just four steps. Subly says several top Fortune 500 companies use its platform. 

With more of the population listening with sound off than ever, and brands wanting to localise content for global audiences, the investment will support the ambitions to further develop and improve Subly services and technologies, expand the team and continue the expansion, with customers currently in over 150 countries.  

Subly has been backed by global investors including Telefonica and Loyal VC, as well as angel investors and ex executives from Clear Channel, Vodafone and Hewlett Packard. 

Andy Ayim, Investor and Director at The Angel Investing School, said: “As a content creator, when I create video content for socials and my online courses, I am always conscious about inclusivity and widening my reach.  

That’s how I first learned about how effortless it is to use Subly for all my subtitles. I was sold as a customer and had the privilege to join as an investor too.” 

CEO Stephens said: “We’re thrilled to announce our seed raise. This round is earlier than expected due to our exponential growth during 2020 and the interest from global investors to further accelerate the growth of Subly 

We’ve seen incredible interest in, and use of, our platform over the last year due to more online content being created than ever, and the need for businesses to communicate with teams and customers virtually.  

Our vision remains true to help creators and businesses around the world to make global, accessible and localised content.” 

The new investors all align closely with the values and vision of Subly, bringing with them expertise and experience from around the globe and across sectors, with a specific focus on SaaS and tech.  

The round highlights the confidence of new and existing investors including lead investor Loyal VC, also part of the previous pre-seed round 

The launch, growth and investment were all completed with a fully remote team and the challenges experienced around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Debora Bielecki, Board Advisor at Bank of Canada and Loyal VC, said: “I have had the pleasure to meet many businesses and entrepreneurs, over the past few years. Every once in a while, you find a gem.  

Investing in Subly just made sense. With the increased need for productivity tools for employees and the speed of content consumption, Holly and the team at Subly are the creators of new subtitling capabilities driven by speed and agility.  

As this market is growing daily and subtitles are becoming part of our virtual lives, it just made sense to invest in Subly and their leader Holly, who has the drive and energy to lead this sector and business growth globally.”  

Luisa Rubio, Head of Wayra X, commented: “At Wayra (Telefónica) we are witnessing rapid growth in the digital content creation market, a vital component in any online strategy.  

The Subly team stands out for offering a simple and quick tool to help all those content creators who need to professionalise and make their work more effective.” 

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