SOS International buys stake in language translation tech firm

One of the government market’s frequent acquirers, SOS International has made another deal but of a different kind this time through its purchase a non-controlling interest in a speech recognition and machine translation company.

Terms of that investment in Applications Technology were undisclosed, but SOSi said Wednesday it will become exclusive reseller of the company more commonly known as AppTek’s products to federal, state and local government agencies.

Both companies have agreed to jointly develop solutions for unclassified and classified use cases. SOSi President and CEO Julian Setian will also join the board of directors at AppTek, a maker of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies focused on speech translation that are used by large companies such as eBay and Ford.

“As our customers’ appetites for A.I. driven solutions have increased, this is the latest of a series of investments we’re making in market-leading commercial technologies that will disrupt the market and advance the mission capabilities of our customers,” Setian said in a release.

Reston, Virginia-based SOSi was founded in 1989 as a foreign language translation provider to federal and state law enforcement agencies, including courtroom interpreters to the Justice Department’s executive office for immigration review. SOSi also has provided similar support to Defense Department agencies since 2001.

McLean, Virginia-based AppTek was founded in 1990 and built its speech data to support translations of dozens of languages and dialects.

AppTek represents SOSi’s sixth transaction to date and comes nearly four months after the latter completed its acquisition of analytics software firm NorthStar Systems.

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