Iyuno-SDI Group Raises $160 Million to Transform Localization Industry

By McKenzie Carpenter Friday, April 9, 2021

Today, Iyuno-SDI Group, a company that provides media localization services, announced the business has raised $160 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to transform the localization industry.

Global broadcasting concept.

About Iyuno-SDI Group

Launched in 2002, Iyuno Media Group is a global entertainment AI and neural machine technology company that offers dubbing, subtitling, translation, and media services to entertainment studios. The AI business has been trusted to service entertainment companies like DreamWorks, Amazon Studios, HBO, Warner Bros., Netflix, and more. As a result, the AI company has dubbed 6 million minutes and subtitled 18 million minutes of content in more than 80 languages.

SDI Media is another global company that provides dubbing, subtitling, translation, and media services to entertainment studios. The business operates in 24 different countries for a variety of projects like broadcast, theatrical, digital, and video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, and has been around for over 40 years.

In March 2020, Iyuno Media-Group announced the AI company completed the acquisition of SDI Media, which resulted in the two businesses operating under the Iyuno-SDI Group name. In addition, the merger of both businesses adds up to a total of 70 years of experience in the localization industry, with 67 offices in 34 countries and more than 100 languages serviced.

Prior to the merger, each company helped launch the Audio Business Continuity Alliance, a non-profit that established a community of artists and enterprises who offer professional audio services worldwide.

$160 Million Investment

The newly merged Iyuno-SDI Group announced the business raised $160 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, becoming one of the largest shareholders of the company.

David Lee, CEO of the AI technology business, said in a statement, “SoftBank Vision Fund 2 joining Iyuno-SDI’s impressive group of investors is a significant milestone in the evolution of our company...SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s portfolio companies are each transformative in their respective industries and Iyuno-SDI is proud to join this network of businesses innovating and advancing the state of the art.”

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 will join the board of directors along with Altor, Shamrock Capital Advisors, SoftBank Ventures Asia Corp, and David Lee, CEO of the business. SoftBank Ventures Asia Corp initially invested in Iyuno Media Group in 2018 prior to the AI company merging with SDI Media.

Chris Lee, director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a press release, “We believe the media and entertainment sector is undergoing massive disruption, as content distribution and consumption patterns are dramatically changing...We are excited to partner with David and the Iyuno-SDI team to support their mission of delivering technology-driven localization services to the media and entertainment industry.”

While the press release from Iyuno-SDI Group did not specifically outline its plans for the new financing, the company did state, “The investment will provide Iyuno-SDI with the necessary resources to support its mission of transforming the localization industry.”

Statista reported the global language services industry was worth nearly $50 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $56 billion in 2021. Europe and North America are the two largest markets in the localization industry, with Europe holding almost half of the shares.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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