Appen (company)

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Appen Limited
FormerlyAppen Butler Hill
Company typePublic
Founded1996; 28 years ago (1996)
FounderJulie Vonwiller Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
Key people
RevenueDecrease US$273.0 million (2023)
Number of employees
Decrease 300 (2024)
Footnotes / references

Appen Limited (formerly known as Appen Butler Hill) is a publicly traded data company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the code APX.[2]


Appen was founded in Sydney in 1996 by linguist Dr. Julie Vonwiller.[3][4] 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.[5][6]

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.[7] Braden-Harder 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.[8] After the merger, the combined business became Appen Butler Hill and expanded its business scope to include language resources, search and text.[9][better source needed]

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.[10]

Appen Butler Hill was re-branded as Appen in 2013. The company went public on the ASX on January 7, 2015, led by Lisa Braden-Harder.[11][better source needed] In July 2015, Mark Brayan joined Appen as CEO.

In October 2016, Appen acquired a UK-based transcription services company called Mendip Media Group (MMG).[12] Appen also acquired Leapforce in November 2017 for US$80 million, adding additional capabilities in search relevance.[13][14] Appen acquired Figure Eight in 2019.[15][16] In 2021, Appen announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Quadrant, a global leader in mobile location data, Point-of-Interest data, and corresponding compliance services.[17]

In December 2022, Armughan Ahmad succeeded Brayan as CEO and President of Appen.[18][19] On February 5, 2024, Ahmad resigned from his position and was replaced by the company's COO, Ryan Kolln.[20]


At the end of 2017, revenues were A$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.[21][22][better source needed] Tasks are performed in more than 180 languages and 130 countries.[5]

Most of the company's revenues are earned offshore. Clients include eight of the top ten largest technology companies.[23][24][25]

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.[26][better source needed]


The company's corporate headquarters is in Chatswood, New South Wales, 10 kilometres north of the central business district of Sydney, Australia. The United States headquarters is in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, and there is also an office in Sunnyvale, California. Appen has a global presence all over of the world including Toronto, Canada; Beijing, China; Cavite, Philippines; Exeter, England; and Tokyo, Japan.[27]


  1. ^ Appen Limited (23 February 2021). "Appen 2020 Annual Report" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-20. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Share Price & Information - ASX". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  3. ^ "Appen shares up 6 per cent, CEO tips search and self-driving cars as future growth drivers". Financial Review. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  4. ^ "Julie Vonwiller: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  5. ^ a b "Appen 2017 Annual Report" (PDF). Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). April 17, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Profit up 28 per cent at web search specialist Appen". Financial Review. 2015-08-28. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  7. ^ "APX.AU Company Profile & Executives - Appen Ltd. - Wall Street Journal". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  8. ^ "Butler Hill Group completes merger with Appen, Inc". Archived from the original on 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  9. ^ "Lisa Braden Harder". LinkedIn. July 6, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Appen and Butler Hill Merge Operations To Create Global Leader in Linguistic Solutions | Technology Transactions". Archived from the original on 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  11. ^ "Introducing Social Instinct: Provider of Social Media Solutions Blends Multilingual Human Moderation with Innovative Technology". PRWeb. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  12. ^ Bullock, Lara (2016-10-10). "Tech company acquires transcription service provider". Lawyers Weekly. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  13. ^ "Appen announcse [sic] strategic UK acquisition". Finance News Network. 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  14. ^ "Appen to acquire new acquisitions for US$80m". Finance News Network. 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  15. ^ "Figure Eight acquired by Appen". FinTech Futures. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  16. ^ "Australia – AI and machine learning platform Appen acquires Figure Eight". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  17. ^ "Appen to Acquire Quadrant to Expand Mobile-Location Based Data Collection Offering". 25 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Newly Appointed Appen CEO and President To Accelerate Next Wave of Enterprise AI Adoption" (Press release). The Eagle-Tribune. 9 January 2023. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  19. ^ Swan, David (21 March 2023). "'I beat my friends to the opportunity': Appen CEO relishing turnaround task". The Australian. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  20. ^ Lam, Joseph (6 February 2024). "Appen CEO Armughan Ahmad's sudden departure". The Australian. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  21. ^ Tan, Oliver. "How Does A Machine Learn?". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  22. ^ "Building Culture in Language Services Companies: An interview with Mark Brayan, CEO of Appen". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  23. ^ "Appen rides the rise of machine learning". Financial Review. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  24. ^ "Thomson Reuters names the world's top 100 technology companies". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  25. ^ "Mid-market awards finalist preview: Pronto Software, Appen, ITAC Services, Longwarry Food Park vie for $50-$100 million category". Financial Review. 2014-08-14. Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  26. ^ Ireland, Kathy (May 12, 2017). "Enhancing the eCommerce Shopping Experience". Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Appen Outperforms in 2017, Breaks Through Billion Dollar Valuation | Slator". Slator. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-07-06.

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