1 month ago
February 25, 2020
The Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index
The Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index is a ranking and index of the world’s largest language service providers, translation agencies, localization providers, interpreting services providers, and language technology companies.
2019 has again been a year of transition for the language industry as providers of every size have been integrating the latest translation productivity technologies into the complex supply chain, navigating the interaction between machine translation and more traditional productivity tools.
Capital remained cheap in 2019, fueling increased M&A activity among many of the largest language service providers, with Slator tracking 60 mergers and acquisitions in 2019. Yet as a number of private equity investments are maturing, PE-backed LSPs were collectively responsible for fewer deals than in the previous year.
As in the 2019 edition, Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index participants are listed in order of their revenues (in USD) for 2019. The ranking is supplemented with information relating to each company, such as 2018 revenues, year-on-year growth, corporate headquarters, ownership and year-end date.
Building on the 2019 edition of the LSPI, which segmented the landscape of providers into separate lists of “Super Agencies and Leaders” and “Challengers,” the 2020 LSPI has been expanded to include a new group of smaller “Boutique” companies. The 2020 LSPI features more than 130 companies in total, more than 70 of which are making their debut this year.
Super Agencies are defined as full-service, multi-vertical LSPs whose revenues are greater than USD 200m. Leaders are defined as LSPs whose revenues are greater than USD 25m and who do not fall into the Super Agencies category. Challengers are defined as LSPs whose revenues are between USD 8m and USD 25m, and the new Boutique category refers to LSPs whose revenues are between USD 1m and USD 8m.
While the rank assigned to the 40 plus Super Agencies/Leaders is meaningful, this is not the case for the Challenger and Boutique lists. Assigning a rank to these groups is no longer meaningful given the overall fragmentation of the industry.
Of course, there is still value in making this data available, however. Companies may choose to use it as a benchmark for their own performance and growth, as an indication of growth in the language services industry, and a starting point for evaluating strategic options including M&A.
The combined US-Dollar revenue of the Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) companies grew 14.6% in 2019 to USD 6.9bn. This is an attractive headline rate. However, a significant portion of this growth is caused by M&A-driven consolidation. We estimate organic growth across the featured 130 companies in the mid single digits (around 5%).
Growth among the Super Agencies/Leaders came in at 14.9%, outpacing the Challenger group (12.3%) and the Boutique group (10.9%).
While one driver of the Super Agencies/Leaders’ outperformance was M&A, the data suggests larger LSPs are indeed growing faster than smaller ones on average. 16 companies on the Boutique list reported negative revenue performance in 2019 (26%), compared with three on the Challenger list (9%) and five on the Super Agencies/Leaders list (12.5%).
The 2020 Slator Language Service Provider Index is a useful resource for language industry stakeholders such as service vendors, buyers, advisors, consultants, and investors when used in conjunction with Slator’s online news service and research, such as the recent the Slator 2019 Language Industry M&A and Funding Report, and other in-depth Data and Research.
For the most part, Slator LSPI data is self-reported by the companies included, and sense-checked by Slator. Where possible, the data has been independently verified by Slator using publicly accessible sources such as annual reports filed with regulators or stock exchanges. The data will change over time as more companies file their financials for 2019.
The Slator LSPI is the industry’s first look at 2019’s growth and we will be publishing a brand new Language Industry Market Report in early Q2 2020, with market-sizing and in-depth sectoral analysis.
Interested companies should contact Slator Research Director Esther Bond to submit their company for inclusion in the next release of the 2020 Slator LSPI. Please contact Slator Commercial Director Andrew Smart if you would like to discuss our advisory services including M&A advisory, strategy review, senior management workshop, technology assessment or custom industry research.
- 2019 was a positive year overall, with double digit growth for many of the leading 40 or so players. Growth among Super Agencies/Leaders was marginally stronger than among Challengers and Boutiques.
- Industry leader TransPerfect delivered another year of strong growth, both in absolute (+USD 59m) and percentage terms (+8.4%) through a mix of organic and acquisitive growth.
- Rivals Welocalize and RWS recorded an above-average year of organic growth at 12.2% and 16.2% respectively, while M&A was the key driver of growth for fellow Super Agency SDL (15.6%). Lionbridge, which completed one small acquisition in 2019, retained its No. 2 position and delivered solid, mostly organic growth of nearly 9%.
- M&A was also the key driver of growth for many industry Leaders, including Keywords Studios, IYUNO Media Group, Stratus Video, Acolad Group and LanguageWire, which were major all beneficiaries of acquisitive growth.
- There was (again) no major private equity exit in 2019, which means a number of investments in leading players such as Welocalize, Lionbridge, LanguageWire and others are beginning to mature. Lionbridge’s rumoured listing would be a major PE exit and the biggest listing of an LSP to date. (Stratus Video’s private equity investors exited in 2020 as the company was sold to AMN Healthcare for USD 475m).
- Private equity (PE) remains a driving force in the language industry, but the overall volume of deals by PE-backed language service providers (LSPs) slowed a bit in 2019. Private-equity backed LSPs were responsible for 26% of trade sales in 2019 vs 54% in 2018.
- Media localization providers are growing strongly overall, but a number faced headwinds in 2019, including SDI Media and ZOO Digital, while others grew through a mix of acquisitions (IYUNO) and organic growth (VSI, Dubbing Brothers and Plint). Competition in this space has heightened as a number of companies made moves to acquire in media localization in 2019 (including TransPerfect, Keywords and Straker).
- Interpretation is growing, with LanguageLine Solutions, CyraCom International, Stratus Video, thebigword, and Easy Translate performing strongly in 2019. More interpreting revenue is being routed towards bigger providers and away from individual contractors or boutique LSPs as governments increasingly bundle spend under nationwide framework agreements.
The Slator LSPI contains 2019 and 2018 revenues (in US-dollars) for each company as well as percentage growth, which is based on original reporting currency. For commentary on performance data and organizational changes for each LSPI Leader company, see the News Highlights section below.
Slator 2020 LSPI Super Agencies/Leaders News Highlights
|#||Company Name||News Digest|
|1||TransPerfect||TransPerfect has once again defended its title as the world’s largest LSP by revenue. With 8.4% top-line growth, TransPerfect reached a record high of USD 764m in revenues, crossing the ¾ billion mark in 2019. Despite a slower growth rate than in 2018, Transperfect still added the equivalent of a top-25 LSP to its revenues in organic and acquisitive growth. And the No. 1 LSP was back on the acquisition trail in 2019, acquiring seven media localizers as well as game localization provider MoGi. Its largest acquisition was France-based Lylo (2018 revenue: USD 14m). Other sources of growth in 2019 included TransPerfect’s AI-support services division, DataForce, as well as its TMS business, GlobalLink. 2019 also saw TransPerfect file a lawsuit against its closest competitor. In it, TransPerfect claimed that Lionbridge and its private equity owners H.I.G. Capital had “acquired trade secrets and confidential information under false pretenses” during the 2017 TransPerfect bidding process, and is using it to “unfairly compete” with TransPerfect.|
|2||Lionbridge||Private-equity backed Lionbridge grew by a solid 9% in 2019, almost entirely organically. The LSP’s rivalry with TransPerfect turned litigious in 2019, as the latter alleged that Lionbridge / HIG Capital was using information obtained during the bidding process for TransPerfect to compete unfairly. And Lionbridge faced another lawsuit during the year when the former owners of GeoText, which Lionbridge acquired in 2015, sued Lionbridge over earn-out disputes. Lionbridge made one acquisition in 2019, buying Tokyo-based language tech and services company Gengo at the start of the year. The company also won two patent translation contracts, worth around CAD 1.5m (USD 1.1m) towards the end of year, and appointed former Moody’s executive Tony Stoupas as its new Chief Technology Officer in November 2019.|
|3||LanguageLine Solutions||In 2016, US-based LanguageLine Solutions was sold to French call center operator Teleperformance, and it is now part of Teleperformance’s “Specialized Services” division. Along with the likes of CyraCom and Stratus Video, LanguageLine Solutions is one of the giants of the remote interpreting space. In 2019, LanguageLine Solutions posted organic growth of 10.4%, reaching revenues of USD 530m.|
|4||SDL||SDL’s revenues were just shy of USD 500m in 2019, up 15.7% from 2018, thanks in large part to inorganic growth from its mid-2018 acquisition of Donnelley Language Solutions. SDL also identified advancements in its NMT (neural machine translation) product offering, the launch of SDL Language Cloud, and strong performance across the high tech, financial services, and life sciences verticals as key revenue drivers. SDL’s share price (SlatorPro) grew by nearly 20% in 2019 and its current market cap stands at around USD 738m.|
|5||RWS||In its 16th year of consecutive growth, RWS reported revenues of around GBP 356m (USD 469m) in 2019, up 16% from 2018. More than 50% of the UK-listed LSP’s revenues came from the US, while Continental Europe (ex-UK) accounted for an additional 30%. There was growth across all four RWS divisions — RWS IP Services, RWS Life Sciences, RWS Moravia, RWS Language Solutions — with the highest growth (25%) coming from Life Sciences. From 2020, RWS has consolidated Language Solutions into what is now its largest division, RWS Moravia. Maintaining its status as the world’s most valuable listed LSP, RWS ended calendar year 2019 with a market cap of USD 2.3bn.|
|6||Keywords Studios||Video game specialist Keywords Studios posted 30% top-line growth in 2019, reaching revenues of EUR 326m (USD 366m). According to the company’s full-year trading update, half of this revenue growth was organic. The Ireland-based LSP is made up of seven divisions. Three of these divisions, Localisation, Localisation Testing, and Player Support, contribute to language services revenues, which accounted for roughly a third of Keywords’ revenues (SlatorPro) in 2019. Keywords made two acquisitions in 2019: KantanMT, an Ireland-based machine translation provider, and TV Synchron, a Berlin-based dubbing and voice-over studio.|
|7||Welocalize||Welocalize is a US-headquartered LSP, which has been backed by private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners since 2015. The company made three acquisitions the following year, buying life sciences specialists GLS and Nova, as well as London-based digital marketing agency Traffic Optimiser (now Adapt Worldwide) in 2016. The company was quiet on the deal front in 2018, and returned to light dealmaking in 2019 with the acquisition of Search Star, a UK-based digital media buying agency. 2019 also saw Welocalize lay off 100 linguistic testers in Texas, which the company blamed on “unforeseen business circumstances.” Classed as one of language industry’s five Super Agencies, Welocalize grew by 12.2% in 2019, increasing its revenues to USD 254.6m.|
|8||SDI Media||2019 saw SDI Media’s revenues retreat by 4.1% to USD 215m, as a number of large media localizers came under pressure from transformational shifts in the landscape. The niche of the industry is grappling with rapid change as the boom in video content and streaming services has led to increased competition among suppliers. New entrants TransPerfect and Keywords Studios both had acquisitions in media localization, and IYUNO and BTI Studios joined forces in a merger. Increasingly, suppliers are having to reckon with what SDI Media CEO Mark Howorth described as “a very uncertain future” at SlatorCon San Francisco in September 2018.|
|9||STAR Group||Switzerland-based STAR Group is a very, very private company. No acquisitions and few public appearances of online marketing efforts. Based in a former monastery at the northernmost tip of Switzerland, STAR Group’s performance was a steady affair with a modest increase in revenues of 4.6% from 2018.|
|10||IYUNO Media Group||2019 saw IYUNO’s revenues more than quadruple, as the media localizer merged with larger rival BTI Studios in Q3 of 2019. It was a second year of strong growth for IYUNO, whose revenues climbed ca. 68% in 2018. The combined organization is backed by private equity firms Shamrock Capital and Altor (former BTI backers) as well as VC giant SoftBank Ventures. Also in 2019, IYUNO moved its global headquarters from Singapore to the UK and appointed Allan Dembry as its new Chief Technology Officer.|
|11||AMPLEXOR International||With a modest top-line growth of 5%, AMPLEXOR’s revenues rose to USD 180m in 2019. Once heavily reliant on business from EU institutions, AMPLEXOR aggressively diversified a few years back, and expanded into the US market through its 2017 acquisition of Sajan. That same year, CEO Mark Evenepoel said that future acquisitions in Asia were “on the map,” but AMPLEXOR again remained quiet on the M&A front in 2019. AMPLEXOR is still active as an EU supplier, and scooped eight lots as either main or alternate supplier in a EUR 63m translation contract in December 2019.|
|12||Acolad Group||2019 was another strong growth year for Acolad Group, whose revenues climbed 28% to USD 168m through a mix of organic and acquisitive growth. Having completed four transactions in 2018, Acolad slowed its dealmaking to a sole acquisition in 2019. Dutch-based Livewords, which Acolad acquired in July 2019, generated USD 40m in 2018 revenues and is Acolad’s largest acquisition to date. Acolad also changed ownership in 2019, as its former private equity backer, Naxicap, sold its majority stake in the LSP. The sale saw Qualium Investissement take a minority stake, while CEO Benjamin du Fraysseix and his family also reinvested in the business to take control in a partial buy-back.|
|13||CyraCom International||CyraCom is a US-based interpreting provider, specializing in over-the-phone and remote interpretation services. The company featured on the Inc. 5000 list two years running, in 2016 and 2017, but missed out in 2018 and 2019. The Inc. 5000 list ranks privately-held, for-profit companies based on percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. Following the acquisition of Stratus Video by AMN Healthcare, CyraCom is now the largest independent remote interpreting provider worldwide. With modest organic growth of 6.6%, CyraCom grew to USD 156.7m in 2019, up from USD 147m the previous year.|
|14||Stratus Video||Stratus Video is a US-based provider of interpreting services for the US healthcare sector, which specializes in video interpreting services. In 2019, the company’s revenues skyrocketed by 96.7% on its merger with InDemand Interpreting in May 2019. The combined organization expanded to USD 111m in 2019 annual revenue, and had an annualized run-rate of around USD 120m at the end of December 2019. In January 2020, healthcare staffing provider AMN Healthcare announced that it was in the process of acquiring Stratus Video from its private equity backer Kinderhook Capital for USD 475m.|
|15||Honyaku Center||In its 2019 fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, Japan’s largest LSP, Honyaku Center, grew by 13% to 108m USD, breaking the USD 100m mark. The publicly-listed company is divided into five business units: Translation, Temporary Staffing, Interpretation, Convention, and Others. All of Honyaku’s units saw top-line growth in 2019, and its second smallest division, Convention, was the fastest growing, at 36.3%. Meanwhile, Honyaku’s core Translation unit recorded a 12% upswing in revenues to USD 77.5m. Language technology adoption and verticals such as medicine, patents and finance contributed to the company’s growth. In the first six months of its 2020 fiscal year (to September 2019), half-year revenues to September 2019 also fell by 1.1% to USD 51.7m, and the company’s market cap is around USD 64m.|
|16||thebigword||thebigword is a major player in UK public sector interpreting, and continues to service the huge GBP 120m Ministry of Justice contract, which it took over from Capita TI in August 2016. The UK-based LSP changed hands in 2019, as Joshua Gould, son of company Founder and Chairman Larry Gould, replaced Nihat Arkan as CEO. In other 2019 news, thebigword subcontractor Debonair Languages fell into administration, and the company won an intellectual property infringement case against rival LSP Language Empire. In 2019, thebigword grew organically by 11% to USD 107.2m.|
|17||President Translation Service Group International Co., Ltd.||President Translation Service Group International (PTSGI) is a Taiwan-headquartered LSP with branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Established in 1966, the company offers a range of language services, including patent translation, interpretation, subtitling and dubbing. A new entrant to the 2020 LSPI, PTSGI reported revenues of USD 98.8m for the fiscal year ended March 2019, growing by 17.3%.|
|18||Voice & Script International||Founded in 1989, VSI is a UK-based media localizer, specializing in dubbing, voice-over, and subtitling services for international broadcasters and OTT streaming providers. Group Managing Director of VSI London, Norman Dawood, told Slator in late 2017 that the company expects to see sustained growth in demand as organizations continue to recognize the value of adapting their content into multiple languages to extend their global reach. In 2019, VSI made one acquisition, buying Argentina-based localization company, CIVISA Media. VSI generated USD 94.3m in 2019, growing by nearly 5%.|
|19||Ubiqus||France-headquartered Ubiqus has a long history of dealmaking, having acquired more than 20 companies over the past 15 years, and having made at least one acquisition a year since 2016. In mid-2019, Ubiqus acquired two boutique LSPs: France-based InPuzzle and Belgium-based Dhaxley Translations. Ubiqus has its roots in transcription and summarization, but today generates over 50% of its revenue from translation and interpretation. The company is minority-backed by private equity firms EMZ Partners and Indigo Capital, and posted high single-digit growth in 2019, increasing its revenues by 9.7% to around USD 90m.|
|20||Semantix||Semantix is a Sweden-based LSP, which has been majority-owned by private equity firm Segulah since 2015. The company offers translation and interpreting services, and is a major player in the Nordic region. In 2019, Semantix made two acquisitions in its home market, buying Tolkvox, an on-demand interpreting startup, and Teknotrans, a boutique LSP. Although Semantix continues to dominate the Nordics, the LSP now has a footprint in other parts of Europe, as well as Chile and China (through the 2017 TextMinded deal). In 2019, Semantix’s revenues dropped by 17.8% to USD 89.6m, down from around USD 115m 2018, which Semantix attributed at least in part to the company’s decision to withdraw from a major public sector interpreting contract with Kammarkollegiet in early 2019.|
|21||Dubbing Brothers||Founded in 1989, Dubbing Brothers is a France-headquartered media localizer, specializing in multilingual dubbing, subtitling and access services. In 2016, private equity firms IDI and Pechel Industries took a minority stake in Dubbing Brothers when the company’s then owner, Philippe Taïeb, retired and his sons, Alexandre and Mathieu Taïeb, took majority ownership. In 2019, Dubbing Brothers expanded into the German market by acquiring dubbing company FFS Film- & Fernseh-Synchron. A new entrant to the 2020 LSPI, Dubbing Brothers posted strong growth of 66% in 2019 and boosted its revenues to nearly USD 85m.|
|22||Pactera EDGE||US-headquartered Pactera EDGE was once the Globalization Services unit of Pactera Technology International, an IT consulting and outsourcing company. In January 2020, however, Pactera EDGE was spun off as a separate company, with Pactera authorizing the use of its trademark name. Pactera EDGE has four divisions — Engineering, Digitalization, Globalization, and Emerging Technologies — and offers digital, technology and consulting services. 2019 was a strong growth year for Pactera EDGE, which posted 31.9% growth, boosting its revenues to USD 75.2m, up from USD 57m in 2018.|
|23||Morningside||Morningside, a New York-headquartered LSP that focuses on IP, patent, legal, and other regulated industries, was acquired in May 2017 by a group of individuals led by co-CEOs Tom Klein and Roland Lessard. The pair comes from outside the language industry and opted for Morningside because of its industry vertical mix and growth track record. In 2019, Morningside completed its first acquisition under Klein and Lessard, buying Israel-based Net-Translators, a life sciences specialist. Morningside posted impressive year-on-year growth in 2019, increasing its top line by 49.7% to USD 72.6m.|
|24||LanguageWire||Denmark-headquartered LanguageWire was acquired by private equity firm CataCap in 2017 and soon started to execute its buy-and-build strategy, bolting on Danish software company FrontLab in early 2018. Later that same year, LanguageWire acquired rival LSP Xplanation to roughly double in size. In the 2019 LSPI, LanguageWire provided pro-forma revenues equivalent to ca. USD 69m for 2018. In the 2020 edition, the company reported actuals of ca. USD 42m (2018) and ca. 63m (2019).|
|25||SeproTec Multilingual Solutions||In 2016, SeproTec acquired Lidolang in Poland and also expanded its US operations, opening an office in Austin, Texas. Growth was strong in 2019, at more than 40%, which SeproTec attributed to a number of factors including good traction for translation services in the US and across verticals including life sciences and IP. In Europe, SeproTec also won a number of immigration-related contracts for interpreting and cultural mediation, and ramped up work with the Spanish police force.|
|26||Akorbi||US-headquartered Akorbi featured on the Inc. 5000 list four years running (in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). The Inc. 5000 list ranks privately-held, for-profit companies based on percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. In 2019, Akorbi announced a strategic partnership with Dialog Health, a two-way text messaging platform. That same year, Akorbi opened a new facility in Nairobi, allowing the company to reach Africa’s emerging language services market. Akorbi posted impressive organic growth in 2019, boosting its revenues by nearly 30% to USD 50.8m.|
|27||Certified Languages International||Certified Languages International is a US-based provider of interpreting services. The company has made the Inc. 5000 list for four years running (in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). The Inc. 5000 list ranks privately-held, for-profit companies based on percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. With 10.6% top-line growth, Certified Languages International increased its revenues to nearly USD 46m in 2019, up from USD 41.4m the previous year. Growth was organic since the company made no acquisitions in 2019.|
|28||TVcN||TVcN is a Netherlands-based LSP, specializing in on-site and over-the-phone interpreting, conference interpreting, and translation. The company was once owned by ManpowerGroup, but was taken over by Dutch investment company Opportunity Partners in 2019. TVcN made one acquisition in 2019, buying Sweden-based interpreting agency Tolkresurs. A new entrant to the 2020 LSPI, TVnC posted solid growth of 25% in 2019, boosting its revenues to nearly USD 40m, up from USD 32m in 2018.|
|29||CRESTEC Inc.||CRESTEC Inc. is a Japan-headquartered LSP with branches in North America, Europe, and several other Asia-Pacific countries. The publicly-listed company offers a range of services including machine translation, digital printing, e-commerce development, and technical writing. The revenues shown for CRESTEC relate to translation and localization activities only and do not include the company’s other services. The language services portion of CRESTEC grew 2.2% to USD 36.7m in the 2019 fiscal year ending June 2019, accounting for around 23% of total company revenues.|
|30||CSOFT International||CSOFT is a US-based LSP that provides language services across multiple sectors including enterprise, life sciences, financial services, IT, legal, government and media entertainment. Led by CEO Shunee Yee, who founded the company in 2003, the company opened a new Boston office in February 2019 to take advantage of the local medical research and biopharma community. CSOFT reported negative revenue growth in 2019, dropping by 9.0% to USD 35.4m.|
|31||Visual Data Media Services||Media localizer Visual Data is a Netflix preferred vendor, offering various localization services, including subtitling, dubbing, and video description. In 2014, the US-headquartered company merged with re:fine, a London-based content processing and media management company. In 2019, Visual Data made two acquisitions, buying digital cinema mastering and distribution specialist Soho Digital Cinema and media services provider MX1 UK Limited. A new entrant to the 2020 LSPI, Visual Data had slight negative revenue growth in 2019, dipping by 0.2%.|
|32||ONCALL Interpreters and Translators||ONCALL Interpreters and Translators is an Australian-headquarted LSP, that specializes in public sector interpreting as well as translation across verticals including website localization, app translation, and e-commerce site localization. A new entrant to the 2020 LSPI, ONCALL posted modest growth in 2019, increasing its revenues by 6% to USD 34m. ONCALL is a regular beneficiary of EU public sector interpreting and translation contracts, such as the UK’s multimillion-dollar ESPO framework contract.|
|33||Transvoice AB||Established in 2004, Transvoice AB is a Swedish LSP, specializing in on-site interpreting and telephone interpreting. The company is majority owned by Transcom, a multilingual customer experience (CX) provider, which in turn is a portfolio company of private equity firm Altor. Altor was one of BTI Studios’ PE backers before its 2019 merger with IYUNO, and remains invested in the combined organization (IYUNO). New to the 2020 LSPI, Transvoice had slight negative revenue growth in 2019, dipping to USD 29m from USD 31m in 2018.|
|34||ZOO Digital||ZOO Digital’s fiscal year runs until March, meaning that figures for 2019 are for the fiscal year ended March 2019. ZOO’s top-line jumped by more than 70% to USD 28.5m in 2018, but growth slowed to just over 1% in 2019, as the media localizer grappled with a decline in its legacy DVD and Blu-ray business, a trend that was more rapid than initially expected. As a Mark II media localizer, however, ZOO has positioned itself to benefit from the increasing demand for media localization, particularly within the streaming market, securing two crucial OTT customer contracts in the company’s first half 2020. ZOO’s share price dropped by 36.3% in 2019, and its current market cap is around USD 68m.|
|35||Apostroph Group||Apostroph Group is the umbrella for the Swiss/German group of companies comprising Apostroph Switzerland, Wieners+Wieners, and López-Ebri. The group is majority-owned by private equity firm ECM Equity Capital Management and has a history of executing a strategy of buy-and-build expansion in the DACH region. In 2018, Apostroph Group acquired two boutique LSPs, Transcript and López-Ebri, and another, BVIW, in 2019. The group’s most recent transaction is its January 2020 acquisition of boutique rival USG Übersetzungs-Service AG in Switzerland. With modest top-line growth of 7.2%, Apostroph Group increased its revenues to USD 27.8m in 2019.|
|36||Rozetta Corp.||With 45% top-line growth to revenues of USD 26m in the 12 months to February 2019 (when the LSP’s fiscal year ended), Rozetta earned itself a spot among the LSPI Leader ranks for the first time in 2020. The Japan-based language services and technology provider streamlined its operations in 2019 and now operates three business lines: Machine Translation (MT), Human Translation (HT), and Crowdsourcing. Rozetta’s MT revenues more than tripled in Q1 2020 versus the previous year, and now account for nearly half of the company’s revenues. Rozetta was also the top performer among listed LSPs (SlatorPro) in 2019. With a share price growth of nearly 130%, its market capitalization is roughly USD 380m.|
|37||Janus Worldwide||Janus Worldwide is an Austria-headquartered LSP offering localization, interpretation, reviewing, testing services, and proprietary translation productivity tools. The company was founded more than 20 years ago and has offices in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. In 2020, Janus Worldwide joined the LSPI Leaders for the first time, posting revenues of USD 25.4m in 2019, up from USD 23.6m the previous year.|
|38||Plint||Formerly known as Nordisk Undertext, Plint, is a Sweden-based media localizer, specializing in subtitling and studio services. With 43% growth, Plint climbed to USD 25m in annual revenues in 2019, and earned itself a spot among the LSPI Leaders for the first time in 2020.|
|39||Lan-bridge Communication||China-based Lan-bridge is a translation and interpretation agency that works with a number of leading Chinese corporations and international companies. Founded in 2000, the company specializes in translation into and out of Mandarin Chinese, and has offices in China and the UK. New to the 2020 LSPI, Lan-bridge posted solid growth of 17.5% in 2019, reaching revenues of USD 25m.|
|40||EC Innovations||Founded in 1997, EC Innovations is a Singapore-headquartered LSP, which offers a range of services including translation, interpreting, web and game localization, subtitling, and dubbing. EC Innovations grew by 21% in 2019, increasing its revenues to USD 25m, and entered the LSPI Leaders segment for the first time in 2020.|
|41||ProTranslating||ProTranslating is a multi-vertical LSP, which generates most of its revenues from translation services, and runs a sizable interpreting business. Based in the US, ProTranslating was acquired by Big Language Solutions in mid-2019. Big Language Solutions is backed by private equity firm MSouth Equity Partners, and led by language industry veteran Jeff Brink, who also founded what is now United Language Group (ULG). New to the 2020 LSPI, ProTranslating generated USD 25m in 2019, growing by 19.1%.|
Disclaimers and Methodology
More than 130 LSPs have participated in this initial release. Ten or so companies specifically declined to participate in the LSPI, including some who had featured in previous years.
A number of companies featured in previous editions of the LSPI (in 2018 or 2019) are notably absent from the lists below. In many cases, this is because their 2019 financial results have not been made available to Slator in time for the launch of the 2020 LSPI. The 2019 revenues for these companies will be added to the Slator LSPI if and when they become available.
From the Leaders list, these include United Language Group (2017: USD 79m), Worldwide Language Resources (2017: USD 61.5m), KERN Global Language Services (2018: USD 54.4m), and Språkservice (2016: USD 61.7 m).
From the Challengers list, these include Translated (2018: USD 23.4m), Lingsoft Group Oy (2018: USD 14.8m), Geneva Worldwide (2018: USD 12m), FastTranslator.com (2018: USD 10.3m), Dynamic Language (2018: USD 10.2m), and Kaleidoscope Gmbh (2018: USD 8.6m).
A number of companies known to generate part of their revenues from language services were intentionally not included in the Slator LSPI. These include the likes of media production companies, advertising companies, and government contractors, whose primary activity is not language services. Some are subsidiaries or divisions within companies that derive the main portion of their revenues from non-language-related activities. In most cases, they are unable to break out revenues they derive from language services; thus, including them in the LSPI would skew the depiction of the language services industry.
Examples of such companies include Deluxe Entertainment Services Group (media production), Mission Essential Personnel (US government contractor), DXC Technology (end-to-end IT), translate plus (part of Prodigious), Hogarth Worldwide (part of WPP), Datawords (digital content), Appen (language data), CTS Language Link (US government contractor), Language Services Associates (US government contractor), Pole To Win (gaming), and Multiling (now part of Questel). Appen grew 47% to revenues of AUD 536m (USD 377m) in 2019.
- Unless otherwise noted, the figures reflect revenues obtained for the company’s fiscal year, and therefore do not always represent the calendar year;
- Figures are presented in US dollar millions (USDm) for the purposes of the index;
- Where relevant, exchange rates are based on historical data for 2019 and 2018 figures;
- Unless otherwise noted, the percentage growth is calculated based on the currency as reported to / acquired by Slator.
Challengers and Boutiques (Website Links)
Argos Multilingual, Easytranslate, Awatera, Alpha CRC, Traductions Serge Belair inc., CBG Konsult & Information AB, Summa Linguae Technologies, GLOBO, Transline, Versacom, Language Connect, NLG GmbH, LanguageLoop, Straker Translations, EVS Translations, Masterword, Lingo24, Propio Language Services, Supertext, mt-g medical translation GmbH & Co. KG, HansemEUG, itl Institut für technische Literatur AG, Diction, e2f, Translate Media, Sandberg Translation Partners, Iota, Linguitronics Co., Ltd., Presence Translate & Interact, Mondia Technologies Ltd, tsd Technik-Sprachendienst GmbH, tolingo GmbH, 1-Stop Asia, Linguaserve, Global Lingo, Affordable Language Services, Delingua Oy, Continental Interpreting Services Inc., Aglatech14, Compass Languages, Codex Global Limited, Locaria, OXO INNOVATION, ZELENKA, Universally Speaking, iDISC Information Technologies, S.L., Rheinschrift Language Services, Lidex Translation & Conference Service Center, Eriksen Translations Inc., MEINRAD.cc Communication Consulting GmbH, cApStAn SA, Global textware b.v., ALM Translations Ltd, Logrus Global LLC, LocaTran, Literra Translation Company, Synergium, Allcorrect Group, Euro-Com International, Terra Translations, Studio Gambit Sp. z o.o., Palex Group Inc., UTH International, Russian Translation Company, HM Language Services Limited, TICK TRANSLATIONS, Tolq.com BV, Hunnect, SWISS SOLUTIONS SRL, AJT, Valuepoint Knowledgeworks, CGT Commit Global Translations Ltd, LAT Multilingual Translation & Marketing Inc., Dogadamycie, Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd, White Globe, Localization Care Sp. z o.o. Sp.k., APriori, Diuna, Technolex Translation Studio, Arabize, Rapport International LLC, Baguette Translations, Casa de Traduceri SRL, Idea Translations, Proftranslation, RuFilms LLC, ITI Ltd., AST Language Services Ltd, EGO Translating Company, AP Portugal, Hermes Traducciones, Stoquart, Alboum Translation Services, ATL.