The 2020 Nimdzi 100

The size and state of the language services industry in 2020, including the ranking of the top 100 largest language service providers

Report by Sarah Hickey.

Table of contents

  1. The Nimdzi 100
  2. Close, but no cigar
  3. Watchlist
  4. New arrivals on the Nimdzi 100 
  5. Methodology 
  6. Market size and growth
    • Top 100 companies concentrate 14.5% of industry revenue
    • Top services and verticals in the market
    • M&A and new market leaders
    • A closer look at the top 100
  7. The top two: TransPerfect and Lionbridge
  8. How buyers view the LSP landscape
  9. Key trends and challenges
    • Scalability and capability
    • Media localization is booming
    • Technology for optimized services
    • Who’s got talent?
    • Machine translation plateaus
    • Price pressure in the public sector
    • Diversification and specialization: Two opposing trends?
  10. Spotlight on key sectors and verticals
    • Media and game localization: Watch this space
    • Life Sciences: Steady growth and profitability
    • E-commerce: Evolving buying patterns
    • Legal and finance: Where the money is
    • Interpreting: No longer the little cousin of translation
    • Technology: Digital transformation continues
  11. Key geographies
    • Where the largest LSPs are
    • Where the clients are
    • Asia-Pacific and India: Lots of room to grow
  12. Emerging trends and buzzwords
    • Transcreation: A misunderstood trend
    • The advent of 5G
    • Brexit: Much ado about nothing
    • Machine interpreting: The talk of the town
  • The 2020 Nimdzi 100
  • About-Us
  • Research-Team
  • The-Nimzi-100
  • New-Arrivals-on-the-Nimzi-100
  • Market-Size-and-Growth
  • Methodology

Keep reading or download the full 50-page report as a PDF!

The Nimdzi 100

Chances are the information you came here for is the Nimdzi 100 Ranking, which is presented in the table in the following pages, where we rank the top language service providers (LSPs) by revenue worldwide.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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
  • (c) calculation based on public financial records
  • Some companies appear to have the same revenue due to currency rounding. However, the ranking is accurate considering the second decimal. 

Close, but no cigar

The following companies would have made the ranking last year, but due to the growth of other players as well as new arrivals on the Nimdzi 100, they did not make the cut this year. However, they deserve an honorary mention.

Watchlist

Language service providers without a definitive revenue estimate

The Watchlist consists of companies that should be in the ranking but are not listed there because they do not disclose, publish, or otherwise reveal their revenue. Furthermore, some organizations are units inside larger corporate groups where a small part of revenue comes from language services, and annual reports do not allow researchers to segment out the translation and interpreting revenue. Examples include clinical research organizations like Icon and communications groups like WPP/Hogarth Worldwide. We provide visibility to such companies on the Watchlist to highlight their impact on the industry. 

The reason it is important for us to track these companies is because even though they might not compete forclients, they compete for talent and resources. They also represent opportunities for technology providers and investors.

The companies are listed in alphabetical order.

New arrivals on the Nimdzi 100

  • President Translation Service Group (PTSGI) — USD 98.7 million. PTSGI is a translation and localization company based in Taiwan. The company specializes in game localization and legal translations. PTSGI was on our Watchlist last year and officially disclosed their figures to us this year.
  • Pactera EDGE — USD 75.2 million. Pactera EDGE spun off from Pactera Technologies and is now its own independent company. Pactera EDGE is based in the US and specializes in translation for IT, finance, and retail.
  • Hiventy — USD 45.9 million. Hiventy is a media localization company based in France. We identified the company through official disclosure in our survey.
  • Prime Focus Technologies — USD 42.0 million. Prime Focus Technologies is a large company based in India that specializes in various services for the media industry. We confirmed the company’s media localization revenue for our ranking through our survey and a briefing with the management.
  • TVcN — USD 39.2 million. TVcN is the largest interpreting provider in the Netherlands. The company was on our Watchlist last year and officially disclosed their figures to us this year.
  • Visual Data Media Services — USD 35 million (e). Visual Data Media Services is a US-based company, which specializes in media localization and other media services. We estimated their size based on business news publications.
  • ONCALL Group Australia — USD 33.6 million. ONCALL is an Australian LSP that specializes in interpreting for the healthcare sector. The company was on our Watchlist last year and officially disclosed their figures to us this year.
  • ProTranslating — USD 25 million. ProTranslating is a US-based translation and localization provider. The company was on our Watchlist last year and officially disclosed their figures to us this year.
  • Plint — USD 25 million. Plint is a Swedish media localization provider, formerly known as Nordisk Undertext. We identified the company through official disclosure in our survey.
  • Spark — USD 24.6 million. Spark is a UK-based localization provider that specializes in technology and media. We identified the company through official disclosure in our survey.
  • SWISS TXT — USD 23.6 million. SWISS TXT is a media localization provider based in Switzerland. We identified the company through official disclosure in our survey.
  • EVS Translations — USD 15 million. EVS Translations is a company that specializes in finance and legal translations. The company was on our Watchlist last year and officially disclosed their figures to us this year.
  • Glodom Language Solutions — USD 11.6 million. Glodom Language Solution is a translation provider, based in China, which specializes in IT and patents. We identified the company through official disclosure in our survey.

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 hundreds of 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 it is impossible for them 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 our 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.
  3. We use data from the latest fiscal year for each company. This means the numbers for some companies will not reflect 2019 calendar year revenues.
  4. 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 (MT), training machine translation engines, cultural consulting, and related services.
  5. Growth rates are calculated in USD.
  6. We use average annual currency conversion rates to US dollars, published by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States for each day of trading in 2019.

Market size and growth

The revenues of the top 100 largest players in the industry grew by 11.5% from 2018 to 2019, as compared to 17.5% from 2017 to 2018. In the top 10 positions, the growth was 11.8%  as compared to 2018, the top 50 grew by 9.7% and the remaining players on ranks 50 to 100 grew by 15.8%, as compared to last year’s ranking. 

Macroeconomic factors have created a wait-and-see mode for some segments like Media and Entertainment (M&E) and trade as a whole. Although growth has slowed down, the market is still growing at a healthy rate for an industry of this magnitude.

Overall, our projection is that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will slow down slightly to around 6.2% for the next few years.

We estimate the size of the industry in 2020 at USD 57 billion. 

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the potential effect of the coronavirus on the industry. At the time of writing, industries like events (interpreting) and travel (translation) have been significantly impacted by the potential spread of the disease. If it becomes a pandemic, the translation industry will be impacted in the same proportion as the industries that it serves. Both negatively and positively.

This has been a preview of the 2020 Nimdzi 100.

The full report can be accessed online by Nimdzi Partners.

The full report includes the buyers’ view of the LSP landscape, key trends and challenges, spotlight on key sectors and verticals, key geographies, and emerging industry trends. If you are not a Nimdzi Partner, you can download the report in PDF format at the link below.  

  • The 2020 Nimdzi 100
  • About-Us
  • Research-Team
  • The-Nimzi-100
  • New-Arrivals-on-the-Nimzi-100
  • Market-Size-and-Growth
  • Methodology

Even if you are not a Nimdzi Partner, anybody can download the full 50-page report as a PDF!


This report was researched and written by Nimdzi’s Chief Researcher, Sarah Hickey. If you wish to find out more about the size and state of the language services industry, reach out to Sarah at [email protected].

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