Transcription Startup Subly Announces $1M Seed Round From World Class Investors

Funding will be used to fuel the next stage of growth and expansion in users, the team and technology.

5 min readMay 27, 2021
  • Subly attracts investors and experienced entrepreneurs from around the globe including Wayra (Telefónica), Loyal VC and AI Startup Incubator.
  • Fully remote global team based in the UK, Spain, The Netherlands and Australia.
  • The startup is already generating revenue after only 8-months since launching paid subscriptions.
  • Funding will be used to fuel the next stage of growth and expansion in users, the team and technology.
  • 65,000 creators and over 7,000 businesses in over 150 countries are already using the platform to make content accessible for global audiences, with 80% of consumers more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available (Verizon Media).‍

London, UK: 27 May 2021 — Transcription, translation and subtitling startup Subly today announced its Seed raise of $1M from global investors including Loyal VC, Wayra (Telefónica) and AI Startup Incubator. Subly has also been backed by global Angel investors.

This raise comes as Subly scales its subtitling and translation services to meet strong demand for accessible content from creators and brands globally, 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 is a simple-to-use online subtitling, transcription and translation platform which allows creators and businesses to transcribe, translate and subtitle content without the professional skills needed.

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.”

“We’re thrilled to announce our Seed raise at Subly,” said Subly CEO, Holly Stephens. “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, in the Subly vision to make all content truly global, the product, technology and global team. The launch, growth and investment were all completed with a fully remote team and the challenges experienced around the world during the pandemic.

Debora Bielecki, Board Advisor at Bank of Canada and Loyal VC, and Subly investor 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.”

Rob Atkinson, Pre-seed Investor and Advisor, ex Adshel, Clear Channel and Australian Radio Network said: “Since I started advising and working with the Subly team in 2020 they’ve seen great growth in users and paid customers in both key and underserved markets. The team has found product-market fit and have great insights into their key users, enabling them to build features and technologies for the future of Subly to help all make content accessible.”

Kamal Hassan, Partner at Loyal VC commented: “We have been following Subly as shareholders for over a year now. Holly made it easy for us to help lead a follow-on round by just delivering business basics, acquiring good customers at low cost with a simple solution that solved their problems.”

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.”

Angelo Burgarello, Managing Partner at AI Startup Incubator said: “We know there is no shortcut to success, however thanks to Subly now we have a shortcut to video transcription, translation and subtitles!”

About Subly

Subly provides automatic transcription, translation and subtitles, to make content more accessible globally, all through a software platform. The platform and team behind Subly have helped over 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 4 steps. Subly launched only 14-months ago, with exponential growth and some of the top Fortune 500 companies using the platform. 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.

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