Hiring activity in the global language market continued its upward trend in April 2022. The Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) had previously experienced moderate increases in February and March 2022 after a small seasonal dip in January 2022.
The LIJI was developed to track employment and hiring trends in the global language
industry. The July-2018 baseline is the starting point from which expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry is measured.
The Slator LIJI climbed by more than two points to 178.8 in April 2022, up from 176.6 the month prior. The job index has climbed more than six points since January 2022, and now stands just a couple of points lower than its December 2021 peak of 180.5.
The uptick in the April 2022 figure is linked to an increase in job ads across all but one of the platforms monitored by Slator. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of March 2022 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment remains buoyant going into the second quarter of 2022.
M&A, Funding, Financials
M&A and funding activity was strong in March, with Slator covering a total of 11 transactions during the month.
New York-based transcription and captioning company, Verbit, kicked off the month by announcing its acquisition of Take Note, a UK-based transcription provider; while European leader, LanguageWire, acquired Agency Walker Services (AWS), a boutique LSP based in France.
UK-based ZOO Digital announced two deals in March. The media localization provider acquired a majority stake in Korea-based WhatSub Pro and bought Vista India a few weeks later, thus launching ZOO Korea and ZOO India.
Meanwhile, it was a busy month in the world of interpreting software. Like ZOO, Texas-based Boostlingo announced two deals in March. Boostlingo acquired California-based interpreting management platform, Interpreter Intelligence, and Denmark-based remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) provider, VoiceBoxer.
Most of the Super Agencies were also active in March. RWS announced the acquisition of Dutch content and authoring tech company, Liones Holding BV. Acolad Group bought major rival Ubiqus in its tenth acquisition to date. And Lionbridge acquired Berlin-based, voice-over and localization studio, mouse-power, for its Games division.
In addition to these nine trade sales, Paris-based website localization technology provider, Weglot, secured a EUR 45m (USD 49.4m) investment from Partech Growth; while Germany’s Transline Gruppe swapped private-equity backers. Transline’s now-former majority owner, LEAD Equities, handed over majority control to Blue Cap, which acquired a 74% stake in Transline Gruppe and its five operating subsidiaries.
Also in March, several publicly listed companies shared updates on their financial results and trading.
Australia-based data-for-AI provider, Appen, saw share prices fall by 28% after releasing its full-year 2021 results in late February 2022. Appen reported record revenues (of USD 447m) in FY 2021, but missed its EBITDA guidance, while the company’s net profit after tax also fell 20%.
Also in Australia, captioning, transcription, and translation provider, Ai-Media, reported revenues of ca. USD 21m, an increase of 29% for H1 FY22. Meanwhile, ZOO raised its expectations for full-year 2022 to at least USD 65m in revenues, with improved adjusted EBITDA of at least USD 6.5m.
RWS reported a positive start to the year in its FY22 update in March, forecasting GBP 761.2m in revenue (USD 1bn) and GBP 140m (USD 185m) in adjusted pre-tax profit.
Over at LocJobs, there were close to 20 new job postings in the month of March. Companies such as RWS, Locaria, Supertext, and Lengoo posted their vacancies for roles spanning sales, project management, account management, and more.
The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for part of its underlying data. The social media site has some 500 million users, many of whom share data about their skills, experience, location, company, and job titles on their personal LinkedIn pages. There are over 600,000 profiles under the Translation and Localization category and a search using the keyword Localization also yields more than 600,000 profiles.
In addition to using data from LinkedIn, the Slator LIJI also culls data from a range of sources, including global job aggregation sites and additional direct company data collected from Slator LSPI companies.