International Finance
Sector Insight

Transfluent opens crowdfunding round on Invesdor

Fast-growing translation company aims to raise up to €1.5M

The first investor commitments are from venture capital funds Vision+ and Aloitusrahasto Vera, along with angel investors Peter Vesterbacka and Kari Karvinen. Existing investors include Mårten Mickos, Paul Bragiel and former Reuters CEO Tom Glocer.

This is one of the first times in the Nordic region that the general public can invest with a venture capital fund with the same commercial terms. With this modern and digital approach, Transfluent, along with its investors, sets a standard for other fundraisers to follow.

Transfluent’s self-serving and extremely scalable platform has disrupted the way businesses use translation services. The platform was originally tailored for the rapid needs of social-media powered global business and comes with a powerful API that allows integration of translation services to virtually any platform. Today Transfluent’s human-powered and high-quality translations cover all types of content for more than 400+ different companies in a variety of industries. Some of the biggest customers include Cap Gemini, Pfizer, Pinterest, Tieto, Visma and Elisa.

Transfluent is especially strong in business translations, with a range of specialist translators catering to creative marketing translations to sensitive legal documents. Most of Transfluent’s current business comes from large enterprise customers, but the service is well suited for businesses of all sizes and types.

An interesting niche that Transfluent dominates in Finland is the country’s successful game development industry. There is a huge demand globally for game translations, particularly in East Asia and China, and Transfluent is exceptionally well positioned to attack the lucrative market.

“Our near term target is to become the largest translation company in Finland in the next 2-3 years. At the same time, we already have international customers and we are preparing to expand operations internationally. Our long term business goal is to be the world’s first translation company to have global annual revenues of over €1 billion,” Transfluent founder and CEO Jani Penttinen says.

Jari Tuovinen, Founder & Partner of Vision+ says, says, “Since most translation companies share the same professional translator resources, the key differentiator is the technology platform and the API connectivity for placing orders and managing translations. This is where Transfluent is miles ahead of the competition.”

Using the online interface, customers can submit material to be translated, follow progress in real time, send messages to the translators and access the history of their past translations. This can save up to weeks compared to traditional translation agencies.

The Transfluent API allows deep integration into the enterprise tools already in use. Examples of successful integrations include customer support systems and large ecommerce websites, where thousands of translation tasks may need to be handled daily.

“The business model works. For the past two years, Transfluent’s product revenue has been growing an average 8% month-to-month (2.5x annual increase) and the growth rate has recently been increasing. This is a very exciting and interesting story and we are happy to be part of it at Invesdor,” says Lasse Mäkelä, CEO of Invesdor.

Jani Penttinen says, “In fact, the combination of speed and quality is not only serving existing translation needs better, it is opening new markets where translation was previously not considered possible. Instead of hiring a customer service team who speaks dozens of languages, you can now have a team of English-speaking customer service agents responding to customers in virtually all the world’s languages.”

Globally, translation industry generated about €37 billion in 2016. The industry is growing at about 7% per year. The largest global translation companies, Lionbridge and Transperfect, command about 1% share of the total industry revenue.

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