The Slator Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) is a ranking and an index of the world’s largest translation, localization, interpreting, and language technology companies.
As in the 2020 edition, participants in the Slator 2021 LSPI are listed in order of revenue (in USD for 2020). The ranking is supplemented with information relating to each company, such as 2019 revenues, year-on-year growth, corporate headquarters, ownership, and financial year end.
Consistent with previous years, Slator has segmented the landscape of providers into four distinct groups.
- Super Agencies – full-service, multi-vertical LSPs with revenues greater than USD 200m;
- Leaders – LSPs with revenues greater than USD 25m and that do not fall into the Super Agency category;
- Challengers – LSPs with revenues between USD 8m and USD 25m;
- Boutiques – LSPs with revenues between USD 1m and USD 8m.
That said, companies may choose to use the information as a benchmark for their own performance and growth, as an indication of growth in the language services industry, and as a starting point for evaluating strategic options including M&A.
- The 2021 LSPI features 200 companies in total, 85 of which are making their debut this year.
- The combined US-dollar revenue of Slator 2020 LSPI companies grew 12.7% in 2020 to USD 8.0bn. This is an attractive headline rate — particularly given the challenges posed by Covid-19 in 2020. However, the following should be noted:
- A significant portion of this growth is the result of M&A-driven consolidation.
- 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 200 companies to be flat to low-single digits in 2020.
- Growth among the Super Agencies was 15.5%, compared to Leaders (12.1%), Challengers (7.8%), and Boutiques (9.2%).
- A number of LSPs reported revenue declines in 2020: 23% of Leaders, 30% of Challengers, and 28% of Boutiques. (None of the five Super Agencies reported revenue declines.)
The Slator 2021 LSPI will be a useful resource for language industry stakeholders, such as service vendors, buyers, advisers, consultants, and investors when used in conjunction with Slator’s online news service and research, such as the recent the Slator 2020 Language Industry M&A and Funding Report and other in-depth Data and Research.
The Slator LSPI is the industry’s first look at growth in 2020 and we will publish a brand new Language Industry Market Report in early Q2 2021, with market-sizing and in-depth sectoral analysis.
The Slator LSPI contains 2020 and 2019 revenues (in USD) for each company as well as percentage growth, which is based on original reporting currency. Commentary on 2020 performance data and organizational changes for each LSPI Super Agency and Leader is provided in the expanded records.
A number of LSP records contain the reporting status “pending.” In many cases, this is because their 2020 financial results have not been made available to Slator in time for the launch of the 2021 LSPI. In these instances, LSPs have been included on the basis of their 2019 revenues. The 2020 revenues for these companies will be added to the Slator LSPI if and when they become available.
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Caveats and Data Collection
Interested companies should contact Slator Research Director Esther Bond to submit their company for inclusion in the next release of the Slator 2021 LSPI. Please contact Slator Commercial Director Andrew Smart if you would like to discuss our advisory services, including a strategy review, senior management workshop, technology assessment, or custom industry research.
200 LSPs participated in the initial launch of the 2021 LSPI. About 15 companies specifically declined to participate in the 2021 LSPI, including some featured in previous years.
- Unless otherwise noted, the LSPI figures reflect revenues obtained for the company’s fiscal year and, therefore, do not always represent the calendar year.
- Figures are presented in the US dollar millions (USDm) for the purposes of the index.
- Where relevant, exchange rates are based on historical data for 2020 and 2019 figures.
- Unless otherwise noted, the percentage growth is calculated based on the currency as reported to / acquired by Slator.
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 resources, such as annual reports filed with regulators or stock exchanges.
A number of companies that would otherwise be included in the Leader and Challenger groups are absent from the 2021 LSPI, such as —
Leaders – Worldwide Language Resources (2017: USD 61.5m), Smartling, and Language Services Associates (LSA).
Challengers – Geneva Worldwide (2018: USD 12m), and FastTranslator.com (2018: USD 10.3m).
These companies are known to have significant language services revenues but did not submit their financial information for the 2021 LSPI or the 2020 LSPI.
Non-core Providers – There is another subset of companies known to generate part of their revenues from language services that are not typically included in the LSPI (unless they are able to break out localization-related revenues). 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.
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), Datawords (digital content), Appen (language data), and Multiling (now part of Questel).
Currency Fluctuations –One Russia-based LSP that qualified for the LSPI in 2020 and actually grew in 2020 (RuFilms) no longer qualified for the LSPI in 2021 as a result of currency fluctuations against the dollar.