Straker's global buying spree continues

MSS founder Alvaro Rocyabayera (left) with Grant Straker.

Straker Translations has bought Sociedad Management System Solutions (MSS), a 20-person outfit it describes as one of Spain’s leading translation companies. 

Co-founder and CEO Grant Straker says that brings his privately-held company's total staff to 45 in Europe and 100 worldwide.

It's the latest in a string of deals for the Auckland-based language translation software company, and Mr Straker says he is in active talks with other potential targets in Europe.

Mr Straker won't comment on the value of the deal but he says it will take his company's annual revenue into "the mid-$20 million." He says Straker's operating earnings should get into the black for the first time this year.

He says the newly-acquired MMS is profitable, with revenues "in the low millions of euros."

Straker has been on something of an acquisition spree over the past 18 months. It bought Dublin-based Eurotext in late 2016 and the San Francisco-based Elanex in early 2017.

After the Elanex deal, Mr Straker said he was considering an ASX listing within 12 months.

This morning, he had cooled on listing talk, telling NBR, "We are not a high-burn tech company and are forecasting profitable ebitda this financial year. We're still evaluating listing on the ASX at some point, and are continuing to look at the timing and pathway to an IPO."

Mr Straker concedes the translation market is crowded but he also says his service has the edge in software technology smarts (with a few humans to fill in the gaps), and he argues that it is a large and growing market. He quotes a figure that the translation industry is worth $US43 billion today and expected to grow at 9% per year through to 2022.

"As we kick off free-trade talks with the EU, hopefully [this deal] shows we are not all just about tourism and dairy," he says.

Speaking of the EU, has its tough new privacy regulation, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) added any hassles for Straker?

"It hasn’t caused us any major issues but we are doing a lot of work to ensure we have it fully covered off," the founder says.

"Our US office does some work for the US government, which has similar requirements to GDPR, so we already a lot of the protections built into our platform."


Watch the full video on Grant Straker's NBR Radar profile by pressing the play button

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