CEO and founder, Transfluent Ltd

Jani Penttinen

Jani Penttinen

Jani Penttinen is an entrepreneur, globetrotter and photographer. He has significant experience in international and language translation business, and a strong background in programming and technology. After working as an entrepreneur in Europe, Asia and the US, Jani has become an advocate for cross-cultural communication.

He is passionate about technologies that make it easier for people around the world to communicate with each other. Jani is one of the key business leaders in social media localization and is determined to change the world for better by enabling cross-language communication in the internet.

Jani is native of Finland, but he has lived nearly half of his live abroad in countries like China, Switzerland and the United States. Currently he resides in California.

Twitter: @jani_penttinen

Email: first name (at) transfluent (dot) com


Jani (right) meets with Russian Prime Ministed Medvedev (left) and Finland Prime Minister Katainen.

November 2012: Jani (right) meets with Russian Prime Ministed Medvedev (left) and Finland Prime Minister Katainen.

In January 2011 Jani came up with an idea of a service that would make it possible for any business to communicate with their clients over the language barriers. Started as a product line for Xiha, Transfluent is now an independent operation headed by Jani Penttinen and Xiaowen Sun. Transfluent is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland with a subsidiary in Sunnyvale, California and a sales office in Singapore.

Jani has designed the and built the core business of Transfluent from scratch, with the help of Xiaowen Sun, to be the global technology leader in language translations in under two years. In 2012 Transfuent raised $1 million USD for expansion into the US market.

Currently Jani is heading the North American operations in the newly founded US subsidiary, in California.

Xiha: a global operation

Jani founded the multilingual social network Xiha Ltd with Xiaowen Sun in 2007. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Through the history of Xiha, the network has had over 26 million users from nearly all countries of the world.

Jani has been instrumental in Xiha’s path to international success. Early on he assumed the role of CTO and architected the technology behind Xiha’s multilingual social media platform. In 2009 Red Herring selected Xiha as one of the most promising technology start-ups in Europe.

In 2009 Jani successfully led a $1M USD seed funding round, which resulted in a group of angel investors teaming up with VC investor VeraVenture. Subsequently Xiha was accepted for Vigo, a highly selective start-up acceleration program which supports the companies with the highest growth potential in Finland with grants of up to 1M euros.

A background in technology and game development

Prior to founding Xiha, Jani spent many years working for the world’s leading game development companies. It is this tech background which has allowed him to develop and lead Xiha.

Jani was one of the pioneers of the game development business in Finland. During the 1990’s he worked in leading roles in all of the game development companies in Finland at the time, including Bloodhouse, Remedy Entertainment and Housemarque.

From 2000 to 2003 Jani worked as the Lead 3D Engineer at Westwood Studios / Electronic Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. There he contributed to the development of Command & Conquer: Renegade, and Earth & Beyond. He also co-created the 3D engine which later became a key part of the SAGE engine (used in several Electronic Arts hit games, such as Command & Conquer: Generals, and Lord of the Rings).

Between 2003 and 2005 Jani worked at Electronic Arts in Los Angeles, making sure their new games performed exceptionally. During this time he co-founded a mobile game development studio in the US, and was in charge of its expansion to China. He founded a subsidiary in China and acted as the Executive Director, with support from Ms. Xiaowen Sun as the director of HR (the two later co-founded Xiha Ltd in Finland, with a subsidiary in the US).

Jani is self-taught and highly skilled in programming, which stems from his participation in demo scene, a movement in the late 80’s and 90’s which encouraged young programmers and designers to compete in creating demonstrations that ran in real time on Atari ST, Amiga and PC computers.

In the media

Jani has been interviewed in several international publications, and by all of the main newspapers in Finland and was also a guest on Finland’s number one prime time talk show, Arto Nyberg. He has been interviewed and quoted frequently in online technology publications around the world. In 2010 Wired Magazine interviewed him for an article on machine translation.

Jani is a frequent speaker at various startup, gaming and translation industry conferences.