On August 11, 2020, Inc. magazine released its annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies based in the US.
Inc. 5000 companies are ranked according to percentage revenue growth; in the case of the 2000 edition, from 2016 to 2019. To be considered for the list, companies had to have been founded and generating at least USD 100,000 in revenues by March 31, 2016, with a minimum revenue of USD 2m in 2019.
The Inc. 5000 list does not feature a separate category for language services (translation, interpretation, etc.). Of the six language service providers (LSPs) ranked, four were listed under “Business Products & Services,” while the remaining two were under “Telecommunications” and “Software.”
The number of LSPs on the Inc. 5000 list has fallen since Slator first covered the ranking back in 2016, when GLOBO Language Solutions (#118), was the fastest-growing of the 21 LSPs. Fourteen LSPs made the cut in both 2017 and 2018, with remote interpretation provider Stratus Video (#201) and The Language Group (#500) claiming the top spots in those years.
Seven Years and Counting
Leading the LSPs in the 2020 edition, CQ fluency jumped several hundred spots this year, to rank #3407, with 110% growth. Included on the list every year since 2014, this is the best performance of the New Jersey-based LSP, so far.
Four LSPs from the 2017 list have made it onto the 2020 Inc. 5000 list: CQ fluency, Propio Language Services, GLOBO, and Phipps Reporting. All four companies have also been featured on the list for seven years. The remaining two companies, Day Translations and inWhatLanguage, have both been featured every year since 2018.
The listed LSPs are evenly split in terms of size. Three companies (Propio, GLOBO, and inWhatLanguage) have between 11 and 50 employees. The other three (CQ fluency, Phipps Reporting, and Day Translations) have between 51 and 200 employees.
Of course, as a company matures, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the same percentage growth. Akorbi and Certified Languages International, with 2019 revenues of USD 39.3m and USD 41.4m, respectively, were both on the 2019 list, but did not make the cut for 2020. Neither did 2019 top-performers The Language Group (#358 with 1279% growth) and Universal Language Service (#2063 with 195% growth).
Also notably absent from the 2020 Inc. 5000 list is Stratus, the largest LSP by revenue in the 2019 edition. Stratus will not be eligible for consideration in 2021 due to its March 2020 USD 475m acquisition by AMN Healthcare (SlatorPro). Inc. 5000 companies must be independent and not subsidiaries of other businesses.
Two of this year’s Inc. 5000 LSPs were also featured in Slator’s 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), which ranked the world’s best-performing LSPs by 2019 revenue: GLOBO (#51, USD 19.5m) and Propio (#61, USD 14.5m).
Contact us if you think we missed a company that should be listed. For more financial insights from Slator, check out the Language Industry Investor Map and the Slator 2020 Translation and Localization Buyer Report.