Norwest Equity invests in Welocalize

Norwest Equity Partners said Wednesday that it invested in Welocalize Inc. Financial terms weren’t announced. Welocalize offers translation and localization services for global brands in more than 157 languages. William Blair & Co. advised Welocalize. BMO Harris Bank, GE Capital, Ally Corporate Finance, Fifth Third Bank, and Norwest Mezzanine Partners provided financing.


MINNEAPOLIS, MN–(Marketwired – June 03, 2015) – Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”), a leading middle market investment firm, has announced that it has made a significant investment in Welocalize, Inc. The transaction closed June 1, 2015; financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997 by industry veteran and CEO Smith Yewell, Welocalize offers innovative translation and localization solutions to help global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 157 languages. Welocalize’s solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies.

With an established portfolio of blue-chip clients around the world, Welocalize is a market leader within its industry and has developed strong vertical expertise in the technology, manufacturing, legal, consumer, oil and gas and financial services sectors. The market and need for localization services are large and have continued to grow in recent years due to many factors, including development of global commerce, emerging markets, the ever-expanding use of the Internet and online customer engagement.

The Welocalize family of companies also includes Park IP Translations and Agostini Associati. Park IP Translations provides translation, litigation and filing solutions for patent and legal professionals. Providing complete translation services in more than 60 countries, Park IP Translations is as a leader in patent prosecution and validation, litigation language services, patent translation and foreign filing, as well as general legal language services for all types of corporate and legal documents. Based in Milan, Italy, Agostini Associati is a leader in financial services translation, specializing in services for tax and audit, financial documentation, M&A and public document translations.

Tom Schauerman, an NEP partner, stated, “With a strong executive management team led by Smith Yewell, Welocalize has proven its ability to execute on and achieve profitable growth, successfully identify and integrate acquisitions, and build a global footprint to serve its diversified group of clients. Welocalize is consistently the provider of choice within the largest industry verticals for localization services, and its deep client relationships not only provide a predictable revenue stream but also present significant growth opportunities. We are excited for what’s to come as Welocalize is well-positioned for continued momentum and growth.”

Yewell commented, “NEP’s investment capital will help fuel our future investments within the localization industry which is fragmented and consolidating. NEP’s long-standing history of investment and operational success, experience within the technology and business services industry, and network of resources were all attractive attributes we considered in selecting the right partner for our next phase of growth. Important to me is that we also share a common value system and style as it relates to business. Like NEP, Welocalize is strongly connected to our culture, and we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver stellar client service, global teamwork, quality and innovation. Our entire management team is excited to work with the NEP team.”

NEP has been investing in growing, profitable, and scalable middle market companies since 1961 and has deep experience working with technology and business services related companies. Representative investments within the sector include GoHealth; Cyber Risk Management; Surgical Information Systems; Amcom Software; Mitchell; PeopleNet; and Rosetta Stone.

“Welocalize is in an industry sector in which we have tremendous investment experience and will be actively seeking opportunities in the future,” Schauerman continued. In April 2015, NEP announced the formation of Norwest Equity Partners X, LP with $1.6 billion in capital.

In 2014, Welocalize was named on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list and reported annual revenue of $137 million. Welocalize employs more than 600 people and is headquartered in Frederick, MD with additional domestic sales and production offices in Boston, MA; New York, NY; Portland, OR; San Mateo, CA; Houston, TX, and international locations in Ireland, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and China. For more information, visit

William Blair & Company served as exclusive financial advisor to Welocalize. Financing was provided by BMO Harris Bank, GE Capital, Ally Corporate Finance, Fifth Third Bank, and Norwest Mezzanine Partners.

More information on NEP and its investment history can be found