whym by Travelinguis
PRODUCT(S) AND/OR SERVICE(S)
If you get into trouble when travelling abroad and need to communicate in the local language, just two taps on whym connects you to a live, professional interpreter within seconds.
The app can support many different combinations of languages. It can be used by a Russian speaker in trouble in Portugal just as easily as an English backpacker in need of an interpreter in Colombia, or a Chinese businessman at an international trade fair in Milan. Our aim over the next 18 months is to offer up to 300 different language combinations, making this a global service.
When faced with stressful situations abroad – such as medical emergencies, interactions with police, car breakdowns – whym aims to provide any traveller with immediate access to a professional interpreter. The app has been designed for use when accuracy of translation is important – whether you are travelling on business, or as a tourist.
You won’t know that you need an interpreter, until you really need one!
Business travellers can use the service for ad-hoc access to professional interpreters during international meetings, or at conferences or trade shows.
We noticed that most people can recount personal stories where they, or a family member, have found themselves in situations abroad where spending £2.00 per minute or more for the services of a professional interpreter would have saved time, greatly reduced stress, or enhanced an international meeting. The whym team have described several actual events that have happened to us in our Travellers Tales section on our web site.
The important thing about whym is that it connects users to live, professional interpreters. We believe this ensures what is being translated is accurate – in both languages. We believe this is in marked contrast to the many free language apps available on smartphones that provide elements of speech recognition and machine translation. In our experience these apps are fine for casual encounters, such as communicating with taxi drivers and waiters, however we believe they are not good enough when accuracy really matters!
Because we provide immediate access to interpreters 24 x 7, we aim to help millions of people manage stressful situations when they are in trouble and need to be able to speak to someone in their own language.
SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
• We have designed, created and launched the first version of the app, which connects English speakers to Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Mandarin interpreters.
• We have test marketed this at several International Travel Shows and learned a great deal from potential partners, which has helped us formulate our business model.
• We have signed an agreement with a US partner who wants to provide the service to their multi-national corporate customers.
• We have started discussions with several travel industry organisations in the UK who are interested in joining an affiliate programme.
• We have helped an Italian language company re-brand and launch an Italian version of the app.
• We have established a partnership with a distributor for the service in Germany.
• We have secured access “on demand” to thousands of freelance interpreters through a long term contract with a company that specialises in providing global telephone interpreting services.
USE OF PROCEEDS
All of the proceeds would be used to help us to achieve early sales of the app and develop our distribution channels.
• Recruit additional team members to manage affiliate sales and marketing activities; online and social media marketing campaigns; and corporate sales programmes.
• Extend the number of languages supported.
• Develop the next version of the app with a number of new features that would enhance its usefulness.
• Recruit and support new distributors to take the app into other foreign language markets.
• Visit and promote whym at relevant conferences and trade shows.