Lingo24, the Edinburgh tech-enabled translation provider, saw revenue growth of 23% to £5.14m in the first half of 2018, and is on track to beat £10m in revenue for the full year for the first time. The company also returned to profit for the first time since raising millions of pounds in external investment to strengthen its technology platform, sales and senior management teams in 2014.
Unlike other mid-sized translation companies, Lingo24 combines strategic consultancy, proprietary technology and translation services to become a true partner to its customers. 73% of Lingo24’s revenue now comes from the company’s top 30 accounts (up from 53% in 2015, and 70% in 2017), who are the primary users of this broader offering. This broad, strategic offering is what has driven growth, as net retained business moved up to 108% by the end of the half year. This figure illustrates how much growth is coming from increased spend from existing clients, which include Brewdog, Hunter Boots and adidas.
“Our business has changed beyond recognition,” says Lingo24 Founder, Christian Arno, “and the focus on building long-lasting strategic relationships with our clients is clear in these numbers. As the world’s most globally minded companies reap the benefits of the latest translation technology, they tend to invest in making more content more global. As technology speeds time to market and reduces the ‘total cost of translation’, so we see the demand for senior level engagement with a tech-savvy translation partner increase too.”
Arno said new business wins in B2B ecommerce, additional content required due to the introduction of GDPR regulations, and even the World Cup all contributed to demand in the first half.
Lingo24’s technology platform is a key part of the company’s success. The company automates as much of the end-to-end translation process as possible, from content transfer to the translation itself, but professional translators are always involved in initial translation and checking to assure quality. Arno highlighted progress in File Engineering in the first half:
“In an ideal world, all content for translation would be transferred to us in a structured format via API. But the future is not evenly distributed, and so we offer File Engineering to help our clients access our translation technology irrespective of file format. Our technology team have improved the number of items where we can fully automate this process from 43% in Q1 to 91% in Q2. This makes our service markedly more scalable.”
Lingo24’s own international push will continue in the second half. The company announced the opening of a sixth office in Amsterdam last year, and Arno says this is showing early promise:
“We hosted our first Journey to Global event in Amsterdam in April – a peer-to-peer learning event where our customers and prospects can learn from one another about how to overcome the myriad challenges involved in becoming ever more global. We will host further events in the Netherlands, and increase our presence at key partner and customer events there and elsewhere, including the USA, in the second half of the year.”
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