On July 21, 2021, US-headquartered language service provider (LSP) TransPerfect announced results for the second quarter to June 30, 2021 (Q2 FY21).
TransPerfect is a privately-owned company not required to publicly report revenues but has chosen to do so regularly. Q2 revenues stood at USD 267m, up 35% — or USD 70m — from the same period the previous year.
Results for the first half (H1) of 2021 were just shy of half-a-billion dollars at USD 498m, an increase of 28% from 2020.
TransPerfect CEO Phil Shawe told Slator that Q2 revenue growth was “virtually all organic.” The Super Agency made two acquisitions during the quarter: Polford in Spain and Poland-based Skilltelligence. “While those two deals were highly strategic, only a minimal amount of revenue was recognized from them in Q2,” Shawe said.
Polford adds studio facilities to complement TransPerfect’s media localization and dubbing offering, while Skilltelligence adds crowdsourced data collection to support the LSP’s data-for-AI division, DataForce.
Asked where revenue growth was most pronounced in Q2, Shawe said year-on-year growth was strong in most areas of the business — both from a vertical and geographical perspective — but that TransPerfect’s “travel and hospitality clients continue to show cautious optimism with respect to their broader business recovery.”
More generally, Shawe said, “the second quarter of 2020, which was the height of the pandemic, was only slightly up from Q2 2019. Comparatively, this quarter saw a significant broad-based increase in spending and investment from our clients across industries — which I can only assume bodes well for the global economy in general.”
“This quarter saw a significant broad-based increase in spending and investment from our clients across industries — which I can only assume bodes well for the global economy in general” — Phil Shawe, CEO, TransPerfect
First-Time TMS Buyers
TransPerfect highlighted strong demand for GlobalLink, the LSP’s proprietary enterprise-grade translation management system (TMS) in Q2, notably among enterprise customers. Shawe said the quarter saw “perhaps our largest dollar volume increase in technology sales in firm history — especially from customers who are first-time TMS buyers.”
Within DataForce, another area of rapid growth, TransPerfect’s customers include “some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world, most of whom already have significant investments in AI,” Shawe told Slator, adding, “but we also support more modest customers who are making their first foray into using machine learning to enhance their business.”
He cited data collection, content moderation, and annotation and labeling for audio and video content as among the most frequently requested data services.
The Billion-Dollar Race
Commenting on TransPerfect’s full-year 2021 outlook, Shawe pointed out that “without fail” in TransPerfect’s 29-year history, the second half (H2) of the year has delivered more revenue than the first half. “This gives us a high degree of confidence that we will surpass the USD 1bn revenue mark in 2021 organically — and the potential for future M&A transactions can only work to improve these odds,” he said.
“This gives us a high degree of confidence that we will surpass the USD 1bn revenue mark in 2021 organically” — Phil Shawe, CEO, TransPerfect
The CEO also noted that “anything can happen, so we also continue to be vigilant” — and that “the business environment can change quickly,” particularly in light of the pandemic. Overall, Shawe said TransPerfect remains “optimistic about the future and [is] planning for a continued global economic recovery with improved market conditions.”
According to Shawe, “Our sustained investment in technology R&D during the pandemic is perhaps the factor most responsible for our being in a position to break the USD 1bn revenue mark for the first time in our history.”
TransPerfect is not the only Super Agency eyeing the billion-dollar-revenue milestone and in contention for the title of world’s largest LSP by revenue. UK-based rival RWS is hot on TransPerfect’s heels having reported first-half revenues of GBP 326m (USD 462m) to March 31, 2021, following the landmark acquisition of SDL in late 2020.