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The 2018 Nimdzi 100 – LSP Rankings (Revised May, 2018)

1 May 2018

The Nimdzi 100 

Revised May, 2018

In the revised version we update figures for many companies with more accurate and more recent numbers. We have also split the reports into three sections:

The original version published in March of 2018 is still available here and you are free to check out the full change log here.  The 2019 Nimdzi 100 is available here.

If you’d rather download the PDF version of the first edition, you can do that, too! But of course any interactive features will be disabled. Keep in mind that the PDF version is updated on a regular schedule to reflect the most up to date information, but may not always reflect the latest updates that are in the tables below. 

Want to take a closer look? Grab all tables in Google Sheets!

Notes:

  • (fy)  fiscal year, figures for the latest financial year (verified with financial reports)
  • (v) verified, data provided by companies
  • (e) estimated revenue, based on extensive industry research

Watch lists

Language services providers without a definitive revenue estimate

In the table below, we list companies that have had a significant impact on the market, but for which Nimdzi was not able to get reliable data as of the publication date of this release.

  • Medium: we believe that the company (or business unit) generated between USD 10 and 30 million in language services revenue in 2017.
  • Large: we believe that the company (or the business unit) generated more than USD 30 million in language services revenue in 2017.
Want to take a closer look? Grab all tables in Google Sheets!

Language services business units inside larger corporations

Large-scale clinical research organizations, digital marketing agencies, auditors, technical documentation developers, and even retailers like Alibaba have language services business units that complement their service offering. In some cases, the billions in revenue from the core business in some of these companies makes the proceeds from the translation business units seem like nothing more than rounding errors.

Because of this, it is not always possible to distinguish the language services component from the larger organization. Yet, some of these language services business units make far more than USD 10 million. Therefore, they are relevant for an in-depth analysis of the industry because they compete with conventional market players for the best talent and the best clients.

We list some of them below.

Want to take a closer look? Grab all tables in Google Sheets!

US government contractors

There is a large, unique market that exists in the United States parallel to the conventional language services industry that provides specialized language and intelligence analysis services to the American military and government agencies. Companies operating in this space have low margins and very high volumes. Because many of these contracts are classified, the size of this market is more difficult to assess.

However, some reliable extrapolations can be made from the publicly available data from the General Services Administration (GSA) and occasional media publications. Estimates for this market range from USD 5 to 15 billion per year.

Government contractors rarely compete with other LSPs for clients, so we have not included them in the Nimdzi 100 Ranking. However, any thorough study of the language services industry must account for the existence and impact of these contractors because they have a significant influence on the industry by competing for the same labor pool.

Want to take a closer look? Grab all tables in Google Sheets!

Methodology

In the course of this market analysis, Nimdzi has uncovered prominent LSPs that have previously been invisible in market reports because they do not participate in surveys and are reluctant to disclose their revenue. Nimdzi has employed an investigative approach and invested countless hours into intense research, data collection, and analysis in order to present data that have previously been unavailable.

We are very proud to offer broad access to our data. This report is offered to all who are interested. No paywall. No strings attached. Localization buyers, investors, savvy job seekers, and analysts are welcome to use this document, just don’t forget to reference Nimdzi Insights LLC as the source. Interested parties are free to reach out to us directly should they have any questions. 

Below is a summary of the methodology used for the Nimdzi 100 Ranking.

  1. We concentrated on identifying LSPs with USD 10 million or more in revenue with the assistance of in-country experts. In most countries, there are only a few providers of that size, and they are impossible to hide from local competitors because they hire staff, take part in requests for proposals, and employ a large number of translators. Once we identified the relevant LSPs, we researched information that could help us make more accurate estimates of their size and talked to the management directly to verify findings.
  2. We’re listing full company revenue, not just language services revenue. It is not possible to separate these in external sources of information, such as annual reports, press releases, and stock listings which provide the foundation for our work. To separate LSPs from other types of companies, we’ve decided to include organizations in the ranking only if language services make more than 50% of their income. Language services business units inside large organizations are featured in a separate list
  3. This is a live document. Nimdzi reserves the right to publish revisions. We expect some players to submit new or revised financial figures and we may release a second edition of the ranking if material and appropriate.
  4. We use data from the latest fiscal year for each company. This means the numbers for some companies will not reflect 2017 calendar year revenues. We are aware that this may complicate comparisons between companies which is why we have clearly marked companies with non-standard fiscal years in the Nimdzi 100 Ranking. 
  5. Our definition of language services includes: translation, transcreation, localization, multilingual desktop publishing (DTP), language quality assurance, linguistic testing, multilingual copywriting, multilingual technical writing, language project management, interpreting, video remote interpreting, telephone interpreting, linguist verification and staffing, media localization, versioning, adaptation, subtitling, voice over, dubbing, machine translation, training machine translation engines, cultural consulting, and related services.
  6. Growth rates are calculated in the company’s reporting currency. For example, a German company that reports revenue in euros has its growth rate calculated in euros. But when we rank it in the table against other companies we use USD as a common denominator.
  7. We use average annual currency conversion rates to US dollars for each day of trading in 2017.

Continue reading…

The revised Nimdzi 100 report is broken into three sections: Nimdzi 100 LSP Rankings, Market Analysis, and Growth Analysis. Continue reading for more information.

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