Current opportunities at Zetta portfolio companies

Zetta Venture Partners
Zetta Venture Partners

Senior Backend Engineer



Software Engineering
New York, NY, USA · San Francisco, CA, USA · Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024

About Us

LILT is the leading AI solution for enterprise translations. Our stack made up of our Contextual AI Engine, Connector APIs, and Human Adaptive Feedback enables global organizations to adopt a true AI translation strategy, focusing on business outcomes instead of outputs. With LILT, innovative, category-defining organizations like Intel, ASICS, WalkMe, and Canva are using AI technology to deliver multilingual, digital customer experiences at scale.

While our core AI technology might share similarities with ChatGPT and Google Translate, it's what we do with it that makes LILT truly revolutionary. Our patented Contextual AI Engine goes beyond basic translations, understanding the nuance of our customer's content and target audience to deliver hyper-accurate, business-focused results. Our connector-first approach seamlessly integrates with our customer's existing workflows, and our human-adapted feedback loop ensures continuous improvement, making LILT a constantly evolving AI partner for your global ambitions.

Authorization to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment.

The Engineering Team at LILT

LILT is a high-performance, large-scale language translation system. We invest in and prioritize workflow (i.e., usability and interface design) and backend AI systems. Since the translation workforce is distributed worldwide, there are interesting cloud engineering problems to solve. We have a strong preference for building our own backend technology, so you’ll be implementing and working with the latest natural language processing (NLP) techniques and ideas.

Where You’ll Work

This position can be based out of our Emeryville, CA or Indianapolis, IN offices and will be expected to work in the office in a hybrid capacity. Additional locations include the Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston metropolitan areas where you will start as fully remote and then transition to hybrid once offices are opened in those locations.

What you’ll do

As a Staff Backend Engineer, you will work with a group of talented, mission-driven colleagues to propose ideas to define, drive, and execute projects on Lilt’s core platform–the heart of our machine translation services. You will enable customers to deliver multilingual journeys and to provide truly localized experiences. This is a high-visibility, high-impact role with enormous growth opportunities.

You must be curious, have attention to detail, be energized by a challenging entrepreneurial environment, be comfortable thinking big while also diving deep, and be open to experimenting and iterating on processes as the company grows.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with engineering and infrastructure teams to design, build and improve our platform’s backend systems, file filters and data stores to help us scale our services effectively.

  • Apply your engineering experience to implement new platform features to drive growth, partnering with product and engineering teams to help decompose huge business requirements into smaller deliverables.

  • Actively mentor peers and Lilt’s community on advanced technical issues, helping them grow their careers

  • Strive to raise the technical excellence bar, contributing to code quality, doing code reviews, increasing test coverage, etc.

Skills and Experience:

  • 5+ years of software development experience with several general purpose programming languages including Java and Python

  • 3+ years of experience with Okapi framework and file filters: XLIFF, XLIFF2, XML, JSON, Markdown, TTX filters etc

  • 2+ years of experience leading a major software component

  • Proven ability to drive large-scale engineering efforts to completion and demonstrated knowledge of industry trends and best practices for scaling cloud-based services

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Our Story

Our founders, Spence and John met at Google working on Google Translate. As researchers at Stanford and Berkeley, they both worked on language technology to make information accessible to everyone. They were amazed to learn that Google Translate wasn’t used for enterprise products and services inside the company and left to start a new company to address this need – LILT.

At its core, LILT has always been a machine learning company since its incorporation on March 6, 2015. At the time, machine translation didn’t meet the quality standard for enterprise translations, so LILT assembled a cutting-edge research team tasked with closing that gap. While meeting customer demand for translation services, LILT has prioritized investments in Large Language Models, believing that this foundation was imperative to the future of enterprise translation.


  • Compensation: At market salary, meaningful equity, 401(k) matching, and flexible time off plus company holidays

  • Medical Benefits: Employees receive coverage of medical, dental, and vision insurance, plus FSA/DFSA, HSA, and Commuter benefits. In addition, LILT pays for basic life insurance, short-term disability, and long-term disability

  • Paid parental leave is provided after 6 months.

  • Monthly lifestyle benefit stipend via the Fringe platform to allow employees to customize benefits to their lifestyle

LILT is an equal opportunity employer. We extend equal opportunity to all individuals without regard to an individual’s race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, veteran or marital status, pregnancy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal laws. We are committed to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all discriminatory practices.