Iyuno-SDI Group Closes New Funding Round With IMM Investment Corp., Eyes Continued Rapid Growth

Iyuno-SDI Group Closes New Funding Round With IMM Investment Corp., Eyes Continued Rapid Growth

January 27, 2022 | DEG Member Iyuno-SDI Group today announced that it has secured a significant investment from IMM Investment Corp., providing the localization services company a depth of resources to continue its rapid growth plans.

The transaction represents the second major investment from leading global investment funds in the last 12 months, following a $160 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in April 2021. The  content localization and media technology company now boasts a $1.2 billion enterprise value following IMM’s investment, in what it called a clear validation of its strategy of global scale, cutting edge technology, and a wide range of services.

“We are delighted to have IMM as a trusted partner in our success story. IMM’s investment further solidifies Iyuno-SDI’s strong capital base and our ability to remain faithful to our commitment to our customers, and the rapidly growing industry, where our mission is to deliver the much-needed innovation, quality and scale through technology-driven solutions and capacity investments,” said David Lee, Founder and CEO of Iyuno-SDI Group.

Iyuno-SDI, which was formed when Iyuno Media Group acquired SDI Media almost a year ago,  expects its strong 2021 growth trajectory to continue on the back of the proliferation of global OTT streaming platforms and their rapidly escalating demand for high quality localization for English, and increasingly, non-English content. In addition to the growth in media and entertainment localization demands, the advent of AI-based advances in text and voice translation will create a significant expansion of the addressable market for localization services with countless applications across several other vertical markets.

Chris Carey

DEG caught up with Chris Carey, EVP Marketing & Corporate Development for Iyuno-SDI, as the latest funding was announced to get more perspective on Iyuno-SDI’s market position and the company’s plans.

DEG: Iyuno-SDI recorded “remarkable growth” since the merger of the two companies in 2021. Can you help us quantify that?
CC: We experienced strong double digit growth across the company, frequently demand has outpaced our capacity, and in some areas like Media Services, we have experienced more than 100 percent growth year over year. We now have 67 offices in 34 countries, 2400 employees, well over 10,000 freelancers, and are growing fast. 

DEG: How is Iyuno-SDI innovating to keep up with this growing demand?
CC: We have four strategic pillars of growth.
> Capital Investments, to build, expand and enhance our capacity globally.
> Talent Development and Staff Growth, to develop, train and expand our talent pool across all disciplines of our work, from creative to technical to production roles.
>Technological Innovation, to introduce automations and innovations to enhance productivity and improve visibility.
> And finally, Str
ategic M&A and Investments, as we carefully consider how and where we can find the right partners to bring into our group, all to better serve the industry at this exciting time. 

DEG: How has the company’s relationship with its clients changed as high-quality localization has become a higher priority for both content companies and platforms?
CC:
We take our commitment to our clients and the industry with a profound sense of appreciation and obligation. We find our client relationships continue to develop much more as deep strategic partnerships, with more communication, collaboration planning and through all of it, constantly striving to elevate the state of the art. 

DEG: Industry observers believe there will be significant growth over the next five to seven years in the localization sector and a need for scale and innovation at a new level. As the industry leader, what is your take on this – what do you think is ahead in terms of overall industry growth and consolidation?
CC:
What is clear is that the global consumer has spoken, they want high quality localized programming from all over the world. This demand creates an opportunity for the global content creators to reach larger and larger audiences, with a localized version of their programs. So, with that as a backdrop, we think that total industry growth outlook is strong for many years to come, and demand for high quality localization right along with it. Regarding consolidation, there may be some consolidation of OTT platforms, some winner some losers, but I do not think we have seen anywhere close to the top of the expansion period, so consolidation may well be a ways off in the future. 

DEG: How are AI-based advances helping the company, and the industry, keep pace with growing demand?
CC:
The practical application of AI-based sciences, along with many other technological advances into the localization industry is a strategic priority for us. We are seeing numerous ways that technological advances improve speed, efficiency, visibility, and many other benefits. The key point is that they must be applied in a thoughtful and practical manner, to ensure that the quality and creativity of our people are being supported and enhanced by these advanced technologies. At the end of the day, it is the quality of the product that matters most. 

Read more about the IMM investment in Iyuno-SDI Group.