Slator released the Slator 2023 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) in mid-February 2023, the sixth annual iteration of our flagship index. Currently featured in the Slator 2023 LSPI are more than 300 language service providers (LSPs) ranked by 2022 (USD) revenue.
The combined revenues of Slator 2023 LSPI companies grew around 10% in 2022 to USD 10.4bn. With that being said, organic growth (excl. acquisitive growth) across the ca. 350 LSPs is lower and estimated to be in the low-mid single digits in 2022.
Drilling down further reveals a largely robust set of results. Excluding the LSPs that are “Pending,” i.e., for which no growth data is available yet:
- 79% of LSPs reported positive growth;
- 14% reported declining revenues
- 6% remained flat, managing to match 2021 revenues
On a segment basis, growth among the Super Agencies was 6.5%, compared to Leaders at 16.3%, Challengers, 3.0%, and Boutiques, 5.2%. Below, we look at the top 3, fastest growing LSPs per segment in 2022.
Among the eight Super Agencies, the fastest growing companies in 2022 were Keywords Studios, Acolad, and Iyuno.
Both Keywords and Iyuno benefited from strong tailwinds in their respective industries, media and gaming. Around 40-45% of Keywords’ revenues come from localization-related activities — housed in the company’s Globalize division — with the remainder derived from other outsourced video games services such as development and marketing. Acolad grew through inorganic growth via the acquisition of Ubiqus in March 2022.The honorable mention among Super Agencies goes to TransPerfect, which added the joint second-highest amount to its topline (USD 50m) among the Super Agencies, in US dollar terms, behind Keywords.
The Leader category was the fastest growing segment in 2022. Among the ca. 50 Leaders, the fastest growing LSPs in 2022 were Propio Language Services, Valiant, and Jonckers.
Propio nearly tripled its revenues in 2022 thanks to a healthy mix of acquisitions (ARCH Language Network, Intelligere, Telelanguage, and Ware, an Ohio-based LSP) and organic growth within the buoyant markets for US healthcare interpreting and remote interpreting. Meanwhile, US government contractor Valiant was awarded a USD 55m language services contract by the US Department of Defense (DLITE II) in March 2022, and grew nearly 90% in 2022.
Meanwhile, Belgium-based LSP Jonckers grew by more than 75% from 2021 to 2022, which the company credited to strong growth in e-commerce product descriptions (through its WordsOnline platform), multimedia, and functional testing, supported by new business wins and customer referrals.
Honorable mentions among Leaders go to LanguageLine Solutions and Toppan Digital Language. LanguageLine added a mega USD 86m in revenues to its topline — the biggest amount of any Leader. Toppan Digital Language was founded part-way through 2021 and therefore only provided figures for 2022 — making its 2022 growth rate incalculable. The company has scaled since its inception through a mix of acquisitions (GlobaLexicon and TranslateMedia) and organic growth to enter the 2023 LSPI Leader category.
Challengers and Boutiques
Among the ca. 60 Challengers, Hero Tolk, AVB Language Group, and Language Network were the fastest growing LSPs in 2022, with growth rates ranging from 70–86%.
From a long list of more than 200, the fastest growing Boutique LSPs in 2022 were LinQ Media Group, Interactive Contact Center, and Synergium. Media localization startup LinQ Media quadrupled its revenues in 2022. On the top end of the Boutique category, Interactive Contact Center grew more in US dollar terms than any other Boutique LSP, adding USD 5m to its topline in 2022, and was also the third fastest growing.
The honorable mention among the Challengers goes to DA Languages, which added the biggest US dollar amount to its topline of any Challenger in 2022, and in the Boutique segment, to Argo Translation, which grew by 57% in 2022.