Qonda: A new startup provides a platform for virtual simultaneous interpreting to simplify hosting multi-language online conferences

Qonda: A new startup provides a platform for virtual simultaneous interpreting to simplify hosting multi-language online conferences

In June 2020, two industry experts – Benjamin Bühl (Dolmetscheragentur24 GmbH) and Mike Bertsch (B&B Technik + Events) – pool their competences, establish BeMi Virtuell GmbH and launch Qonda, a browser-based remote interpreting platform. It is an online service for booking and assigning simultaneous interpreters for online conferences – in any language. Instead of having to be present on site of the conference, the interpreters can now dial in to the event from wherever they are located to provide their interpretation. Qonda is compatible with all common video platforms but can also be used on its own as a stand-alone video conference platform.

The founders Benjamin Bühl and Mike Bertsch are old hands at the conference industry. With a total of 17 years of experience in the language services sector, Benjamin Bühl has been managing Dolmetscheragentur24 GmbH for five years. Managing Director of B&B Technik + Events for more than 20 years, Mike Bertsch is an expert for event technology and organization. For some time, both men have observed a strong increase in international online conferences which will certainly be strengthened further by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Right from the beginning of this development, they were aware of a setback: A variety of video conference tools allow for easy connection of people from all over the world. But the simultaneous interpreters required to facilitate smooth understanding had to travel on site to render their services, which meant high expenses and a lot of logistical effort – the greater the number of languages involved, the more complex.

Benjamin Bühl says: “In a world where it takes just a few clicks to connect thousands of people from several countries in a video conference, we think that there should be an uncomplicated and readily available remote solution for real-time communication in different languages. Our aim is to make simultaneous remote interpreting as easy to handle as a video conference.”

Suitable for any type of international online conferences – with up to 100,000 participants world-wide

In cooperation with experienced simultaneous interpreters, the two founders developed Qonda, a new and simple tool which fulfills this aim. Via the Internet, companies can book and assign interpreters for multi-language online conferences – in all language combinations available on the market. They can use their own tried-and-tested interpreters, or book via a translation agency. Whereas the commonly used video platforms offer a limited number of language channels, Qonda has no restrictions as to the number. This revolutionizes the processes, because the entire assignment of simultaneous interpreters can now be handled online for the first time. While Qonda is compatible with all the usual platforms, it can also be used as a standalone all-in-one video conference tool. Located in Frankfurt am Main, the servers are in compliance with the GDPR.

“For us, uncomplicated, technically perfect handling and high-quality language services are as important as ensuring that Qonda is suitable for a wide range of possible applications. Qonda is designed for the providing interpretation of video conferences, video streams and audio transmissions, as well as hybrid live and on-site meetings. Our customers are international corporate groups and organizations but also medium-sized enterprises. They increasingly use Qonda for board meetings, press conferences, product presentations, webinars or training courses, some of them with up to 20,000 participants from all over the world,” explains Mike Bertsch.