Propio Buys Interpreting Service Providers ARCH and Intelligere

Propio Language Services CEO Marco Assis

Propio Language Services has acquired two Minnesota-based language service providers (LSPs) specializing in remote and in-person interpreting. The Kansas City-based healthcare interpretation specialist announced the acquisition of ARCH Language Network and Intelligere on January 5, 2022. Both deals closed on December 31, 2021.

As previously reported, Propio derives 70% of its revenues from the US healthcare sector, with about 80% of that coming from interpreting services (i.e., over-the-phone, video-remote, and in-person). “The acquisitions increase the overall percentage coming from interpreting services to over 90%,” Propio CEO, Marco Assis, told Slator.

“Combined, the companies immediately added 550 interpreters to Propio’s network,” Assis said. He further stated, “We will add 25 full-time employees to the Propio team. As a combined organization, Propio has well over 100 corporate employees with plans to more than double the number in 2022.”

The CEO declined to go into specific figures (e.g., valuation, profitability) around the two acquisitions and would only say, “Propio had its biggest year in 2021 and we are expecting comparable growth in 2022.”

Based on the Slator 2021 Language Service Provider Index, Propio’s revenues stood at USD 14.7m as of 2020, up 2.8% from the year prior (2019: USD 14.3m). Healthcare interpreting, specifically remote (e.g., RSI, VRI, OPI) has, of course, been fueled by the pandemic. Among the best-performing LSPs of 2021 is remote interpreting provider, Stratus Video, which helped grow revenues for its parent company, AMN Healthcare, by 77%.

Opportunistic M&A Strategy

According to Assis, there is very little client overlap among Propio, ARCH, and Intellegere. In fact, “Propio has served as a white label partner for Intelligere since 2016, offering remote interpretation services to enhance their reach with access to qualified interpreters in more than 200 languages,” Assis said.

The CEO added that Propio intends to integrate ARCH and Intelligere throughout 2022 with a focus on giving clients and interpreters immediate access to Propio ONE, the company’s proprietary mobile app that provides on-demand video and audio interpretation for users. Intellegere recently migrated Propio ONE.

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According to the Intellegere website, the company was founded in 1979 and more than 90% of its spoken-language interpreters are trained with an emphasis in healthcare. ARCH, on the other hand, was founded in 1999 “to provide interpreting services for newly arrived African refugees and immigrants to Minnesota.” It has since expanded to providing in-person interpretation and document translation services for limited-English-proficient clients in tandem with hospitals, counties, schools, and other institutions throughout Minnesota State.

On whether the two companies will continue to trade under their respective names and retain their offices and management teams, Assis said, “All remains unchanged and, yes, the Minnesota offices will continue to operate. All employees within the current ARCH and Intelligere management structures are being transitioned to Propio.”

The ARCH and Intellegere deals follow Propio’s acquisition of translation and interpreting provider Vocalink in April 2021 and a growth equity investment from Triple Tree Capital Partners (TTCP) in June. Assis declined to comment on whether the TTCP investment was used to fund the latest acquisitions.

Asked about Propio’s M&A plans in 2022, Assis replied, “We always look to seize opportunities that can contribute to Propio’s vision and mission. We evaluate prospective acquisition targets on an opportunistic basis, we do not set defined acquisition-related goals. Our focus continues to be on organic growth.”