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How to Localize an App for 31 Countries — InDriver Case

inDriver is an international passenger transportation service. According to the research agency Sensor Tower, it is one of the three largest ride-sharing services in the world. Some notable facts about inDriver:

  • over 49 million users,

  • over 550 million rides provided,

  • operating in 31 countries and over 300 cities,

  • available in 11 languages.

How did inDriver appear?

inDriver appeared in Yakutsk, a city where it’s extremely cold in winter. In 2012, during the New Year holidays, the temperature dropped below –45 °C. At that time, taxi services raised prices one and a half times in one day. Then, in the wake of the people's outrage, students created the Independent drivers (indrivers) group on the VKontakte social network. The group members published the route and the price they are willing to pay, and drivers contacted customers and completed orders. In this way, in just six months, 60 thousand members joined the group, and it continued to grow.

Soon the group was replaced with the inDriver mobile app, where passengers could independently determine the most favorable conditions for their trips. In 2014, inDriver began expanding outside Yakutia. In 2017 it began operating in Moscow, and since the spring of 2018 it has been spreading beyond the Russian-speaking market.

To be understood in every country

Indriver set out to prove that a regional startup could create a successful international business.

The company chose Latin America after researching a number of other countries. They were drawn by the fact that the people there place a premium on freedom, they like to bargain, and they like to interact with each other, telling each other about interesting new developments.

In 2018 inDriver spread out to other markets — Central and South Africa. The company continued its trend of steady growth, and in 2019 it was named the best app on Google Play in Brazil.

InDriver began operating not only in metropolises but also in smaller cities with unique dialects. It became clear that the app needed to be translated in a way that accounted for each region’s local culture and language.

When the app began covering more than 4 linguistic locales, inDriver encountered challenges with maintaining and quickly updating the translations. Establishing an in-house localization department meant expending more resources and time to streamline operations. So it seemed to be too complex to handle independently.

That’s where Alconost came to help. Alconost became the middleman for inDriver in its pursuit of localization.

Localization challenges and objectives

In order to expand and capture new markets, inDriver needed quality localization service. This meant finding solutions to several challenges:

  • Adapting complex languages for translation.

  • Setting up localization process management. The company had a team of five people, each of whom worked separately, disconnected from the rest.

  • Conducting market testing. A part of the app would be translated and tested regionally. If the launch went well, the entire app was translated. This approach made it hard to find native speakers who were willing to undertake a low-volume job while delivering a high-quality translation.

A personalized approach to localization

The professional translators at Alconost helped inDriver localize the app into specific dialects — at Alconost specialists were found for every rare language required. Rare languages were needed in order to maintain a high level of user trust, so the inDriver app was translated even into dialects typical of smaller cities.

The biggest challenge was that in order to provide quality translations, the best translators had to be hand selected and tested, and not everyone was willing to translate the small volumes of text required. Alconost helped overcome this hurdle as well, conducting the required interviews and selecting the team of translators.

Before the integration of the Crowdin platform, the translation process was managed by a decentralized team at inDriver. After switching to a unified management system, all the localization processes became unified and transparent for all team members.

Localization results were incredible:

  • 85,000 words translated in the course of 2020,

  • 10 languages covered, with 30% accounting for complex languages and dialects,

  • systematized localization process,

  • reduced localization expenses.

Together with Alconost we automated translation of the app into other languages to the highest degree possible. Alconost’s approach enabled us to increase the speed and boost translation output. Task monitoring has become transparent: each person in the company can track the localization process using the unified platform CrowdIn. This enabled Indriver to freed up a tremendous number of resources for the future development of the app and the company.” 

Egor Fedorov
Director of operations at inDriver

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