NEW YORK — July 23, 2020 — KUDO, a Manhattan-based startup for multilingual online meetings, has garnered $6 million in seed funding in a round led by Felicis Ventures, ID8 Investments, Global Founders Capital, Advancit Capital and AirAngels.
The extra leverage will be used to grow the engineering, product and customer success teams. KUDO also hopes to enhance the superior security and user-friendliness that led the United Nations, the World Bank, Interpol, NATO, the Council of Europe and other large multilateral organizations to choose it over more popular but less dependable web conferencing solutions out there.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown to combat its spread have turned one specialty niche of the web conferencing market into a booming subcategory of the business. And KUDO seems to be leading the way.
“We have created a fully-equipped virtual multilingual conference room in the cloud,” says Fardad Zabetian, founder and CEO of KUDO. “It’s like what you see at the United Nations, only online. People listen and speak in their own language while expert interpreters render what the participants say into many other languages.” Interpreters connect to these virtual meetings from their homes or from a growing network of KUDO studios around the world.
Zabetian, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two other companies over the last decade, saw the shift on the horizon toward virtual and hybrid meetings way back in 2012. He knew the market wasn’t quite ripe for action, but he kept an eye on the space. Then in 2017, when the time was right, he and his cofounders launched KUDO.
The platform is ready to scale after onboarding more than 7,500 professional interpreters from over 80 countries and spanning more than 70 languages. In addition to language, KUDO offers mission-critical features like parliamentary voting and polling, document distribution, and sign language interpreting, which makes it one of the most inclusive web conferencing offerings on the market today.
KUDO has become a leading tool for multilingual online meetings and a key business continuity ally for international organizations, national governments and Fortune 500 companies. Currently, more than 650 multilingual meetings take place each week on KUDO. And with most of their income flowing from long-term, high-value subscriptions, it won’t be long for these numbers to double.