15 November 2013

Deep Multilingual Semantics Pays Off for Bitext

The Spanish semantic technology company Bitext (The Bits and Text Company) has been in the news quite a bit since it won an LT-Innovate Prize in June 2012. Analysts have complimented Bitext on its decision to develop a technology that enriches and extends existing systems with deep linguistic knowledge, rather than reinventing the wheel for each application. 
We caught up with Antonio S. Valderrábanos. CEO & Founder and Enrique Torrejon, the R&D Director, to check on their progress.

International strategy

Since June 2012, there have been three major events in Bitext’s business activities: In the last quarter of 2012, they reached an agreement with Salesforce, the leader in social media monitoring, to provide multilingual sentiment analysis in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Insights ecosystem. With Bitext's real-time, multilingual sentiment analysis companies can understand their customers better and faster than ever before. This decision to join an existing sales channel seems typical of the company’s approach to market outreach.

They also signed distribution and partnership agreements with companies such as Actuate. This means that Bitext is steadily positioning itself as a text analytics and sentiment analysis provider for Big Data in the US market as a whole.

Here in Europe, Bitext is now working with the Spain-based telecoms company Telefonica to provide multilingual text analytics for voice of the customer in different languages for their international product launches.

Verticalising the technology 

In the immediate future, Bitext’s business agenda for the next three years is to build a stronger presence in the US – especially in Silicon Valley – so that it can sign partnerships with major US corporations. On the technology front, they will be focusing on “verticalising” semantic applications beyond sentiment analysis. This will involve developing text analytics for specific purposes, such as making recommendations, intent to buy, optimising contact centre performance, and also fraud detection.

How about the European market? Bitext agrees that one of the company’s major assets is the extensive multilingual capabilities of their solutions & services. But there is also a certain disadvantage in this for many European language tech companies, say Bitext’s senior executives: “Paradoxically, the existence of multiple languages in Europe segments the market according to languages. This makes it difficult for language technology providers to expand to other markets if they lack these multilingual capabilities.

What Bitext would like to see more of is better access to financing at European level, be it through business angels or investors in general. Even their competitors would probably agree with them on that point!

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