“One of the first SaaS startups in Europe”
“More than 4 million active users”
“Translating products to up to 12 languages”
“Shipping products to countries all over the world”
All these buzzwords and phrases indicate a customer of LingoHub – MeisterLabs. Keeping up with our business cases Raphaela Brandner, Marketing & Content Manager of MeisterLabs, tells us about the importance of localization for MeisterLabs, how they manage localization and about the joy of using LingoHub.
“We’re extremely happy with LingoHub, the workflow is completely hassle-free. It’s really a joy to use.”
For nearly 10 years MeisterLabs has been pushing collaborative work through the use of its products. Can you please tell us about the beginnings of your company and the achievements you have made so far?
We launched our first product MindMeister in 2007. It was the first collaborative online mind mapping tool and also one of the first SaaS startups in Europe. We started with a private beta, where we personally invited 200 close friends and business contacts, and within three months we were up to 10,000 users, which was really amazing.
In June 2008 we went for our first funding round and raised € 550,000 just before hitting the 100,000 user mark. MindMeister has been growing steadily ever since, so that today we are the market-leader in online mind mapping with over 4 million users.
About two years ago we started developing our second product, MeisterTask, which launched in March 2015. Getting started with a tool on the incredibly competitive task management market has definitely been a little more challenging than we were used to with MindMeister, but after six months into this new adventure we’re also up to 100,000 users. There’s still a very long way to go, but we feel like we’re on the right track. Our team is growing alongside our user base and we’re excited to see what will happen next.
Meanwhile you are offering two products to enhance collaboration worldwide – MindMeister and MeisterTask. Please tell us about your innovative products and their core features.
MindMeister and MeisterTask are both stand-alone applications, but together they offer an incredibly powerful workflow that starts with the user’s first creative idea and ends with the successful execution of a full-blown project. Typically, users start their creative work in MindMeister, where they can brainstorm together in real-time, develop strategies and visualize the many different aspects and challenges of their projects. MeisterTask is then used for the execution of said projects. It’s an intuitive task manager with a beautiful design and fully customizable project boards. Besides being integrated with MindMeister and other fantastic apps like GitHub, Slack and so on, it also offers some really nice power features that let users automate their workflow and visualize task relationships.
As there are numerous developers among the readers of our blog, we want to point out a technical perspective as well. From a technical point of view, how do you manage millions of projects and various users at MeisterLabs?
We use Ruby on Rails and MySQL in our stack. We have a redundant load balancer, plenty of web servers and a MySQL cluster. This scales pretty well. Additionally we use a content delivery network to serve our static assets fast worldwide. Our servers are located in a tier-3 data center in Frankfurt, Germany. We also use virtualization on our machines to have fast instance deploy times.
MeisterLabs’ customer base contains famous and successful companies such as SAP, EA, Oracle, Philips and others. Where are you shipping your products at the moment?
The biggest part of our user base is located in the US. Thanks to the nature of our tools there are no local limitations – both MindMeister and MeisterTask are being used by businesses, freelancers and educational institutions all over the world.
You are now managing localization with LingoHub. How did you use to handle localization before and how do you use LingoHub now?
We originally built our own translation interface including multiple languages and inline translation support as back then there was no software available to manage all that. We’re now using LingoHub for our web and client translations on iOS and Android. We’re extremely happy with the tool, especially when it comes to adding languages to an existing project with external translation support. This used to be a real challenge, but LingoHub’s solution is hassle-free and a joy to use.
We are interested what you like best about LingoHub! Which core benefits and improvements did you realize since you have started working with LingoHub?
Adding external freelancers to translate and review a language is a huge advantage for us as managing 9-12 languages for different products can otherwise get very messy very fast.