Slator launched the Slator 2023 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) in mid-February 2023, the sixth annual installment of our flagship Index. In the 2022 edition, the LSPI features more than 300 language service providers (LSPs) ranked in order of their 2022 revenues.
The LSPI is dynamic and will be updated throughout the year as additional LSPs are expected to submit their information. The analysis here is a snapshot as of late February 2023 and the data may change a small amount over time as supplementary information is included.
The combined US-dollar revenue of Slator 2023 LSPI companies grew around 10% in 2022 to nearly USD 10.4bn. Although this is an attractive headline rate, a significant portion of this growth is the result of M&A-driven consolidation, primarily through acquisitions completed by Leaders and Super Agencies.
Additionally, since participation in the LSPI is optional, some LSPs that experienced revenue declines in 2022 may have chosen not to disclose their figures this year. We estimate organic growth across the featured ca. 350 companies to be low to mid single digits in 2022.
As in previous years, the LSPI segments LSPs into four different groups, which we drill down into for further analysis below:
- Super Agencies – full-service, standalone 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.
The Super Agency category is the smallest segment in the LSPI, made up of just eight LSPs. Collectively, Super Agencies reported 6.5% growth to reach a combined revenue of USD 4.7bn in 2022. In dollar-terms, Super Agencies added a total of USD 289m to their overall topline in 2022. None of the Super Agencies reported revenue declines in 2022.
- TransPerfect grew through a mix of acquisitive and organic growth, in part through the acquisition of Hiventy in 2022.
- RWS, Lionbridge, and Welocalize and grew organically in 2022.
- Acolad grew through acquisition in 2022, having acquired French rival Ubiqus in March.
- Iyuno and Keywords are new to the Super Agency segment for the 2023 LSPI — Slator expanded the definition to include niche Leaders with revenues of more than USD 200m that are not part of a larger organization. Both benefited from strong tailwinds in their respective industries, media and gaming.
- STAR Group is also new to the Super Agency segment for 2023 — the Swiss-based LSP has not typically chosen to participate in the Slator LSPI in recent years, meaning prior year’s revenues were estimates only. The company entered the ranks of Super Agency with 3.4% growth to revenues of just over USD 200m in 2022.
Leaders reported both the highest overall growth rate (16.3%) in 2022 and the highest growth in dollar terms (USD 590m). This accounts for the majority of US-dollar growth across all 2023 LSPI companies.
The Leaders were the second biggest contributing segment in 2022 revenue terms (USD 4.2bn) and the second smallest segment by number of LSPs (48) behind the Super Agencies. Only 2% of Leaders reported revenue declines in 2022.
The Challengers achieved a modest overall growth rate of 3.0% in 2022, when they grew to a combined total of around USD 790m in revenues, adding a little more than USD 20m collectively. Of the 59 Challengers, eight reported revenue declines in 2022 (around 14%).
Boutique LSPs account for more than half of all companies featured in the Slator 2023 LSPI. The ca. 220 Boutique LSPs collectively grew around 5% (USD 33m) in 2022 to total segment revenues of around USD 660m; 26 Boutique LSPs (12%) reported revenue declines in 2022.
To explore the LSPI companies and learn more about the more than 300 LSPs currently featured, head over to the interactive Slator 2023 Language Service Provider Index. You will find a wealth of information for each LSP, including 2022 revenues, year-on-year growth, corporate headquarters, ownership, and more. And please get in touch with us via the chat box if you are not included and would like to participate.