Serial entrepreneur and founder of Transfluent, Jani Penttinen, joins early stage venture capital fund byFounders as its first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) to support the next generation of Nordic and Baltic founders.

Having left the CEO position of his brain child Transfluent, Europe’s fastest growing translation company, in November 2018 Finnish entrepreneurial mastermind Jani Penttinen is again ready to undertake new ventures. This time together with the early-stage venture capital fund byFounders, appointing Penttinen as its first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR).

Pioneering a Concept

While common in Silicon Valley, the concept of Entrepreneurs in Residence is relatively novel across the Nordics and Baltics. In Finland, Penttinen is pioneering the practice:

“We’re super excited to welcome Jani as our first EIR, where he will draw on his experience of building truly global businesses. As one of the founders of the Finnish Startup Foundation, Jani is uniquely positioned to strengthen byFounders’ presence in the Finnish tech ecosystem, ensuring a high quality deal flow. At the same time he will provide invaluable support to our existing portfolio companies. This move underscores our ambition to “pay it forward” and bring out the best from the next generation of Nordic and Baltic founders.”

Eric Lagier, Managing Partner at byFounders

Unique experience and insight

As EIR, Penttinen will join the accomplished byFounders Collective while building his new global business – a discipline in which he has plenty of experience. Prior to founding Transfluent, Jani built the online community XIHA Life, which at its peak connected over 26 million users from more than 200 countries, virtually transcending language barriers. Upon identifying the opportunity for adding a B2B dimension to the platform, Jani established the spin-off Transfluent and subsequently moved to California to expand to the North American market.

“It is a rare moment for a startup founder to be in-between two companies. Transfluent has grown to a point where it was time for me to move on, and I definitely intend to create something new and great again. While I prepare for my next gig, byFounders offered a chance to use my experience as a founder to help other Nordic founders find funding for their exciting new businesses. For me this is an opportunity to meet with smart entrepreneurs and learn a lot while being able to share what I have learned over the years.”

Jani Penttinen, Founder of Transfluent and EIR at byFounders

For Founders byFounders

Established in 2017, the early stage venture capital fund byFounders is actively investing in tech startups across the Nordics and Baltics. Made up of some of the region’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, such as the founders of Skype, Kahoot, Zendesk, Unity, Tradeshift, Sitecore and Vivino, the byFounders Collective invests and supports the next generation of globally ambitious founders.

Beyond merely investing, byFounders offers strong operational guidance to its portfolio companies to accelerate their value creation. A strong presence and great networks in both the Nordics and Silicon Valley, the fund serves as a springboard for growth.

“We see a growing number of accomplished founders wanting to support our mission, and appointing our first EIR is but one way of leveraging their accumulated experience and knowledge.”

Eric Lagier, Managing Partner at byFounders

If you are a Finnish startup looking to engage with the most well-connected VC across Nordics, Baltics and Silicon Valley, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jani Penttinen on hello@byfounders.vc.