TELUS International, a digital customer experience division of Canadian telecom giant TELUS, agreed to acquire Lionbridge AI, the crowd-based training data and annotation platform used to power machine learning. The acquisition will be at a purchase price of approximately C$1.2 billion (approximately US$935 million) and should be completed by the end of December 2020.
Lionbridge AI and Appen are the two largest training data and data annotation services providers in the world. Lionbridge AI annotates data in text, images, videos, and audio in more than 300 languages and dialects for some of the world’s largest technology companies in social media, search, retail, and mobile. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Lionbridge AI has more than 750 employees working from countries around the world, including in the US, Ireland, Finland, India, UK, Japan, Denmark, Costa Rica, and South Korea. Lionbridge AI works with a community of 30,000-50,000 global crowd contributors deployed at any one point in time.
Lionbridge AI has demonstrated strong financial growth, reporting 2019 revenue of approximately US$ 200 million. According to our sources, the company reported US$ 175 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2020, showing growth even with the effects of the COVID pandemic.
This transaction highlights the continuous M&A activity in the translation and localization industry, and will affect the rankings of translation companies by bringing the overall revenue for Lionbridge to the half-billion US dollar range.