Company:Appen (company)

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Appen Limited (formerly known as Appen Butler Hill) is a publicly traded company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the code APX.[1]

Appen provides or improves data used for the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence products. Data types include speech and natural language data, image and video data, text and alphanumeric data and relevance data to improve search and social media engines.[2] Appen's customers use machine learning for a variety of use cases including automatic speech recognition (ASR), computer vision, increasing conversions in eCommerce, delivering more meaningful and personalized advertising, enhancing social media feeds or improving customer service capabilities with tools like chatbots and virtual assistants.[3]

For machines to demonstrate artificial intelligence, they need to be programmed with human-quality training data that helps them learn.[4] Appen uses crowdsourcing to collect and improve data and has access to a skilled crowd of over than 1,000,000 part-time contractors who collect, annotate, evaluate, label, rate, test, translate and transcribe speech, image, text and video data to turn it into effective machine learning training data for a variety of use cases.[5]


The company's global headquarters is in Chatswood, New South Wales which is 10 kilometers north of the central business district of Sydney, Australia. The United States headquarters is in Kirkland Washington which is a suburb of Seattle and there are also US offices in San Francisco, California and Detroit, Michigan. Appen also has offices in Beijing, China, Cavite, Philippines, and Exeter, England.[2]


At the end of 2017, revenues were AUD 166.6 million and the company had more than 350 full-time employees and over 1,000,000 approved flexible workers in the Appen crowd.[5][6] Tasks are performed in more than 180 languages and 130 countries.[7]

Most of the company's revenues are earned offshore and clients include eight of the top ten largest technology companies.[8][9][10]


Appen was founded in Sydney in 1996 by linguist Dr. Julie Vonwiller.[11][12] She was joined by her husband Chris Vonwiller who left his job at Telstra in 2000 to join Appen full-time and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Appen.[7][13]

In 2011, Appen merged with the Butler Hill Group, which was based in Ridgefield, Connecticut and Seattle, Washington and originally founded by Lisa Braden-Harder in 1993.[14] Lisa was a member of the pioneering team in grammar checking technology at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center before the Butler Hill Group and stayed on as CEO until 2015.[15] After the merger, the combined business became Appen Butler Hill and expanded its business scope to include language resources, search and text.[16]

In 2012, Appen acquired Wikman Remer, a firm based in San Rafael, California, which developed tools and platforms for employee engagement, online moderation and curation.[17]

Appen Butler Hill was re-branded as Appen in 2013, and it went public on the ASX on January 7, 2015.[18]

In July 2015 Mark Brayan joined Appen as CEO and continues to hold that position today.[19]

In October 2016 Appen acquired a UK based transcription services company called Mendip Media Group (MMG)[20][21]

Appen also acquired Leapforce in November 2017 for U.S. $80M, adding additional capabilities in search relevance and growing its crowd to over 1,000,000 flexible workers.[22][23]


Awards & Recognition

  • Australian Growth Technology Company Award 2017[27]
  • Flex Jobs Top 100 Company With Remote Jobs in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 including the #1 ranking in 2017 and the #2 ranking in 2018[28][29][30][31][32]
  • Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 2017[33]
  • Four-time winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia award and also named number 6 in the Deloitte Leadership Awards for companies having revenues in excess of $50 million in 2013[34]
  • 2014 BRW Momentum Awards for Best Mid-market Business $50–100MM Category Finalist[35]
  • Inaugural winner in 2008 of the Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Award and Australian Export Category Winner, Information & Communication Technology Award[36][37]
  • Ranked 8th largest language service provider globally by Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) in Who’s Who in Language Services and Technology: 2019 Rankings.[38]
  • Inaugural winner in 2008 of the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award and Australian Export Category Winner, Information and Communication Technology Award.[39]

External Links

Official Website


  1. "Share Price & Information - ASX". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Appen Outperforms in 2017, Breaks Through Billion Dollar Valuation | Slator" (in en-US). Slator. 2018-02-23. 
  3. Ireland, Kathy (May 12, 2017). "Enhancing the eCommerce Shopping Experience". Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland. 
  4. "Is it time to buy AI company Appen? - Fairmont Equities" (in en-US). Fairmont Equities. 2018-04-19. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tan, Oliver. "How Does A Machine Learn?" (in en). Forbes. 
  6. "Building Culture in Language Services Companies: An interview with Mark Brayan, CEO of Appen" (in en). 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Appen 2017 Annual Report". April 17, 2018. 
  8. "Appen rides the rise of machine learning" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2017-05-26. 
  9. "Thomson Reuters names the world’s top 100 technology companies" (in en). 
  10. "Mid-market awards finalist preview: Pronto Software, Appen, ITAC Services, Longwarry Food Park vie for $50-$100 million category" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2014-08-14. 
  11. "Appen shares up 6 per cent, CEO tips search and self-driving cars as future growth drivers" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2016-02-29. 
  12. "Julie Vonwiller: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". 
  13. "Profit up 28 per cent at web search specialist Appen" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2015-08-28. 
  14. "APX.AU Company Profile & Executives - Appen Ltd. - Wall Street Journal". 
  15. "Butler Hill Group completes merger with Appen, Inc.". 
  16. "Lisa Braden Harder". July 6, 2018. 
  17. "Appen and Butler Hill Merge Operations To Create Global Leader in Linguistic Solutions | Technology Transactions" (in en-US). 
  18. "Introducing Social Instinct: Provider of Social Media Solutions Blends Multilingual Human Moderation with Innovative Technology". PRWeb. 
  19. Rose, Sally (2015-01-07). "Appen off to a steady start as IPO fever continues in 2015" (in en). 
  20. Editorial, Reuters. "${Instrument_CompanyName} ${Instrument_Ric} People |" (in en). 
  21. Bullock, Lara (2016-10-10). "Tech company acquires transcription service provider" (in en). 
  22. "Appen announcse strategic UK acquisition" (in en). Finance News Network. 2016-10-03. 
  23. "Appen to acquire new acquisitions for US$80m" (in en). Finance News Network. 2017-11-29. 
  24. "Appen acquires Figure Eight for up to $300M, bringing two data annotation companies together" (in en-US). 
  25. April 2019, 23rd. "Figure Eight acquired by Appen" (in en-GB). 
  26. "Australia – AI and machine learning platform Appen acquires Figure Eight" (in en-US). 
  27. "Appen: The Future Is Artificial - FNArena" (in en-US). FNArena. 2017-12-01. 
  28. "K&L Gates | K&L Gates" (in en-us). 
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  30. "100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2015 - FlexJobs" (in en-US). FlexJobs. 2015-01-20. 
  31. "100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2016 - FlexJobs" (in en-US). FlexJobs. 2016-01-25. 
  32. "100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2017 - FlexJobs" (in en-US). FlexJobs. 2017-01-29. 
  33. "100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2018" (in en-US). FlexJobs. 2018-01-15. 
  34. "Technology Fast 500™ APAC Winners | Deloitte | Technology, Media & Telecommunication" (in en). 
  35. "Congratulations to our Technology Fast winners! | Deloitte Australia | Technology, Media & Telecommunications program" (in en). 
  36. "Mid-market awards finalist preview: Pronto Software, Appen, ITAC Services, Longwarry Food Park vie for $50-$100 million category" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2014-08-14. 
  37. "Australian Export Awards winners - 2000s - Australian Export Awards" (in en). 
  38. "CSA Research - View". 
  39. "Industry Awards & Recognition from Leading Organizations" (in en-US). (company) was the original source. Read more.