177 LSPs and Counting: Findings From Slator’s 2021 Language Service Provider Index

Analysis of Slator Language Service Provider Index 2021 of Translation Agency Ranking

Slator launched the Slator 2021 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) in early March 2021, the fourth annual installment of our flagship Index. In the 2021 edition, the LSPI features more than 175 language service providers (LSPs) ranked in order of their 2020 revenues. 

The LSP is interactive. Users can filter company records based on country headquarters, region, and ownership type, and click on a record to reveal more company information.

The LSPI is also dynamic. it will be updated throughout the year with additional supplementary information. This means that, while we unpack some of the key stats from LSPI companies here, the analysis is a snapshot as of early March 2021 and the data may change a small amount over time as new companies are added.

The combined US-dollar revenue of Slator 2020 LSPI companies grew 11.5% in 2020 to USD 7.7bn. This is an attractive headline rate — particularly given the challenges posed by Covid-19 in 2020.

However, a significant portion of this growth is the result of M&A-driven consolidation. Additionally, since participation in the LSPI is optional, some LSPs that were impacted by Covid-19 in 2020 may have chosen not to disclose their figures this year. We estimate organic growth across the featured 170+ companies to be flat to low single digits in 2020.

As in previous years, the LSPI segments LSPs into four different groups, which we drill down into for more detail, as follows:

  1. Super Agencies – full-service, multi-vertical LSPs with revenues greater than USD 200m;
  2. Leaders – LSPs with revenues greater than USD 25m and that do not fall into the Super Agency category;
  3. Challengers – LSPs with revenues between USD 8m and USD 25m;
  4. Boutiques – LSPs with revenues between USD 1m and USD 8m.

Super Agencies

The Super Agency category is the smallest segment in the LSPI, made up of just five LSPs. Collectively, Super Agencies reported the biggest growth both in percentage- and dollar-terms, with overall revenue growth of nearly 16% to USD 2.7bn. None of the Super Agencies reported negative growth.

  • RWS and Acolad both grew inorganically through major acquisitions — of SDL and AMPLEXOR, respectively.
  • TransPerfect grew through a mix of acquisitive and organic growth after multiple acquisitions in 2019.
  • Lionbridge and Welocalize grew organically in 2020.


As a segment, Leaders reported the lowest overall growth rate (of 7%) in 2020, but the second highest growth in dollar terms — USD 270m (almost as much as total Boutique revenues in 2020).

The Leaders are the biggest contributing segment in 2020 revenue terms (USD 3.9bn) and the second smallest segment by number of LSPs (39) behind Super Agencies. Nine leaders (23%) reported revenue declines in 2020.


The Challengers segment achieved an overall growth rate of around 8% in 2020, when they grew to a combined total of USD 684m in revenues, adding a little more than USD 50m collectively. Of the 44 Challengers, 13 experienced revenue declines in 2020 (around 30%).

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Smaller in revenues but mightier in number, 89 Boutique LSPs participated in the Slator 2021 LSPI. Collectively, they grew 9% (USD 24m) in 2020 to total segment revenues of USD 278m; 25 Boutique LSPs (28%) experienced revenue declines in 2020.

To explore the LSPI companies and learn more about the 177 LSPs currently featured, head over to the interactive Slator 2021 LSPI. You will find a wealth of information for each LSP, including 2019 revenues, year-on-year growth, corporate headquarters, ownership, and more. And please get in touch with us if you are not included and would like to participate.