Friends like Google are good for Babylon’s business

babylonWhile the Israeli high-tech firing wave continues, Bloomberg News Corporation founds an interesting and successful Israeli company that’s worth covering – Babylon.

Babylon provides a translation tool as well as encyclopedic information and professional glossaries for text on the screen. When a user clicks on text with the right mouse button or combination of the right mouse and another key, the Babylon window appears with a translation and description of the clicked word.

Babylon, which last year signed an advertisement revenue-sharing agreement with Google, is now making sales of 3.8 million dollars annually from this accord.

Chief Executive Officer, Alon Carmeli, says that we might see similar agreements with Yahoo, Microsoft and in the future.

Speaking about the future only does good to Babylon, the company expects a growth of 45 percent next year, again, because of the agreement with Google.

Quick facts about Babylon’s translation software:

  • 52 million users worldwide use the Babylon translation software, and the numbers keep growing.
  • Babylon offers text translation in 28 languages and Wikipedia results in 18 languages.
  • Apart from the direct translation, they offer professional glossaries in different verticals, including content from 1,400 sources such as Oxford University Press, Britannica, Merriam-Webster (they have glossaries for medicine, history, art, etc)
  • In addition, they have a large group of corporate clients as well as presence in 168 countries and affiliate programs for their premium package.

Babylon was founded in 1997 and became a publicly traded company in February 2007.  The company’s translation software was free to use until 2001. Babylon is named after the biblical story of the Tower of Babel that led people to speak different languages.

Israel’s largest public TV station gave Babylon the props this week: (click here if you can’t see the player)

This post was contributed by Morad Stern, a usability Expert who loves web, gadgets and tech. He also writes the Usability Blog. (Hebrew)